Ranked-choice voting more accurately reflects voters’ choices, will reduce the rancor in campaigns, and will result in candidates more inclined to work across the aisle. Despite what opponents claim, it is very simple and cost effective. It is nothing more than an immediate run-off election.

Here’s how it works: On the general election ballot, you rank your choices for each state office. If three candidates are running, you rank them first, second, third. If one wins a majority, the counting ends. If none do, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated. Then your ballot is re-tabulated. If your first choice is still on the ballot, it continues to be counted first. If your second choice has been eliminated, your third choice becomes second. This continues until one candidate receives 50 percent of the votes. At all stages, your vote counts. This process eliminates strategic voting, spoiler candidates, and other gaming of the system. A simple software change will achieve the results in short order.

We have seen politics become dysfunctional as primary candidates appeal to the most extreme factions of their parties. Their campaigns make them unprepared to govern. In ranked choice, candidates who run negative campaigns have alienated voters favored by maligned candidates. So we can expect more civility in campaigns, more discussion of the issues, and more office holders who have learned to respect their opponents.

In November, vote for this initiative which will again make Maine a leader in electoral fairness.

State Rep. Janice Cooper

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