The 2018 primaries will not just be about selecting party candidates. This year, Mainers will vote on a historic initiative – one that we already voted into law in 2016, and that our Legislature has fought ferociously to keep from implementing. Now, in the home stretch, we need every voter on board.

Ranked-choice voting restores majority rule in elections. In multi-candidate races, you choose your first, second and third (or more) preferences. You’re no longer hobbled by the fear that your vote will be “wasted”; if your favorite candidate can’t win, your vote goes to your second choice.

Ranked-choice voting has been successfully used for over 120 years by hundreds of governments, corporations and private associations. In a state like Maine, with a strong history of independents, third-party candidates and vote-splitting, ranked-choice voting is a common-sense solution.

Maine lawmakers have argued that ranked-choice voting is confusing. Studies and real-life experience conclusively show otherwise; in the last two mayoral elections in Portland alone, more than 94 percent of voters said that they understood both the ballot design and voting instructions.

Our lawmakers have further argued that ranked-choice voting will cost too much to implement. Indeed, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap initially claimed the new system would cost the state of Maine $1.5 million this year! He’s since pared that number to somewhere between $89,000 and $139,000.

Our lawmakers continue to treat ranked-choice voting like some deadly strain of virus. They’ve taken the matter to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (which unanimously ruled in favor of using ranked-choice in the upcoming candidate primaries).

They voted to “delay” implementation until 2022. (Citizens, braving the winter weather, got enough signatures to veto that vote.) Now Maine’s Republican Party has filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop implementation of ranked-choice voting in June.

Enough. Demand that our legislators bow to the clear will of the people. Since 2014, Mainers have repeatedly said “yes” to ranked-choice voting. Please make your way to the polls on June 12 to say “yes” one last time.


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