I want to encourage all voters (especially independents who would not normally vote in a primary) to vote “yes” on June 12 in favor of ranked-choice voting.

Ranked-choice voting is a clear win for the people, but not for either political party. This has led to inconsistent positions on ranked-choice voting by the parties and a great deal of politically motivated last-minute confusion.

Legislative records document that Republicans worked unsuccessfully for passage of ranked-choice voting legislation during the years that John Baldacci was governor. Democrat Diane Russell pushed for a ranked-choice voting pilot project in 2009, but failed to get support from either party. In 2016, citizens placed a ranked-choice voting initiative on the ballot; 52 percent of voters approved and neither party strongly opposed it at the time.

Since the passage of that initiative, the Legislature has failed to implement the will of the people. In my view, neither party wants to support a change that permits voters to better express their views unless that change will help their party win the next election. This is shortsighted and gives voters one more reason to distrust our elected representatives.

It’s time for voters to stand together in support of ranked-choice voting, which has been carefully studied and strongly recommended as offering many advantages over our current plurality system. The websites of nonpartisan groups such as the League of Women Voters of Maine (www.lwvme.org/RCV.html) and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (www.mainecleanelections.org) discuss the benefits and implementation challenges. Become informed and vote for ranked-choice voting on June 12!

Valerie Kelly

Peaks Island

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