Ron Collins of Wells, a Republican state senator, has written a letter and an op-ed about ranked-choice voting that are filled with inaccuracies (June 7).

Just like his colleagues in the Legislature, he wants to confuse voters with falsehoods and inaccuracies. So here are the facts from legitimate sources everyone can verify:

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court did not issue a binding opinion on ranked-choice voting; justices just weighed in with their advisory opinion when asked by legislators about whether ranked-choice voting violated the Maine Constitution.

Collins is wrong that there will be “confusion and chaos”; just ask residents of Portland how much confusion and chaos occurred when they used ranked-choice voting for their last two mayoral elections.

 It will not take weeks to know the outcome of the election after June 12, as Collins must know. Only ballots with more than two candidates for one seat have to be counted in Augusta.

So why does he say so much that is simply not true about ranked-choice voting? Because he and many legislators know that with ranked-choice voting, voters have more than just a choice between the two party hand-picked candidates using the old undemocratic plurality system of voting that he wants to retain. Candidates winning by a majority of the votes, with ranked-choice voting, will likely prevent a minority party from governing the majority. How could we have just accepted that old, undemocratic system for so long in Maine?

Collins does not want to use a voting system that is fair to all voters. He want a minority political party to govern the majority. He wants his political party and big money to control the outcome of an election. He is afraid that giving voters more choice will change that. Given a fair system, he doesn’t trust voters to make good choices.

Jim Chiddix


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