The upcoming referendum regarding ranked-choice voting – Question 1 on the statewide ballot for June 12 – is crucial for all Mainers. Independents as well as party members should weigh in on it. To those who say “One person, one vote” – like the writer of last Sunday’s Another View guest editorial – I say, “What about majority rule?”

It’s a shame that this issue is called “ranked-choice voting” rather than “instant runoff.” The second title is a better fit for what happens in such an election.

In a classic runoff, people return to the polls to vote for candidates who won the highest pluralities, but not a majority, of the votes. In an instant runoff, like ranked-choice voting, people vote their second or third choices, as if they had returned to the polls to choose among those who received the highest pluralities. The purpose: to elect leaders who have the support of a majority of the voters.

Our courts and legislative bodies require majority votes (even unanimous votes, in the case of juries). What about Maine voters? We must content ourselves with leaders who receive just a plurality, sometimes voted in by a radical minority. The majority, whose votes are split among several candidates, are the losers. Vote “yes” on Question 1 if you believe the majority should rule.

Victoria Adams


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