The recent letter from Harry White about ranked-choice voting (March 16) contains many noteworthy falsehoods.

White says that “the Democrats came up with ranked-choice voting after losing two elections to Paul LePage.” Actually, ranked-choice voting bills had been introduced in the Maine Legislature as far back as 2001, and Maine’s League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan group, endorsed the system in 2011. More Republicans than Democrats initially supported it in the Legislature.

White further says that although LePage won 48 percent of the vote in 2014, “if ranked-choice voting had been in effect … Mike Michaud would be our governor.” For this to have happened, more than 80 percent of Eliot Cutler’s 50,000 voters would have needed to cast their votes in the second round for Michaud. Highly unlikely, since Cutler’s hard-core supporters were independents, and opinion polls show 60 percent of Maine’s independents call themselves conservatives! No one can say for sure, of course, but the far more likely outcome is that LePage would have won with a majority of votes in the second round. Indeed, actual results in ranked-choice voting elections nationwide show the first-ballot plurality winner almost always wins the election.

White also says: “Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is rushing to implement ranked-choice voting for the June primaries even though he knows it is unconstitutional, based on an advisory opinion of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.” False again. The advisory opinion applies only to statewide elections in November – nothing in that opinion or the constitution applies to primary elections. Further, Dunlap knows full well that if the June referendum passes, ranked-choice voting will be used only in elections where no constitutional issues are involved.

Ranked-choice voting is not a perfect voting system – no system is – and its costs and benefits can be usefully debated. But for “ranked-choice voting truths” to emerge in that debate, ranked-choice voting’s opponents will need to get their facts straight.

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