I was truly amazed by Harry White’s March 16 letter about ranked-choice voting. Opposition to any concept is one thing. Spreading fear and misinformation is something else entirely.

Ranked-choice voting was not invented by the Democrats because Paul LePage won two elections. It was invented in Europe in the 1850s. In the 1870s, Willam Ware, an architecture professor at MIT, further developed a European system for single-winner seats. Ranked-choice voting is also not unconstitutional.

Ballots with ranked choices are used many ways in many places. Ranked-choice voting is a very simple system meant only to mitigate the effects of vote-splitting (the real reason for its inception and use) that have long plagued this state.

Maine voters will be using ranked-choice voting in the primaries for governor, Congress and the Legislature on June 12, thanks to the petition for a people’s veto. That petition has temporarily postponed the effective date of the Legislature’s attempt to delay and potentially repeal ranked-choice voting.

The petition also asks those voting in June whether they want to support a people’s veto of L.D. 1646. The Legislature passed this bill last year; it delays the use of ranked-choice voting until 2021 and repeals it if there is no constitutional amendment by 2021. Voters cannot vote on a constitutional amendment until two-thirds of the entire Legislature approves putting that question on the ballot.

Voters should get out and try using ranked-choice voting June 12 and review the results. At the same time, they can veto the delay/repeal law that the Legislature passed, in direct contradiction to a referendum initiated and approved by a majority of voters in 2016.

Peggy Bayliss


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