As intended, ranked-choice voting achieved it’s intent for the people of Maine. It gave independent voters, like myself, an actual role in selecting a representative. A large portion of the voters in Maine question the dominance of the two-party system. This year we actually played a part in selecting a representative.

The 2nd Congressional District has favored the incumbent for generations. Candidates, both Republican and Democrat, have assumed re-election, easily avoiding the responsibility to justify themselves to their constituency.

Ranked-choice voting isn’t the solution to the consolidation of power in the hands of those who already have it. But it is a step in the direction of responsiveness to the actual wishes of the voters. It has helped break the log jam of Maine’s 2nd District.

Term limits tend to whitewash the problem, like punishing an entire school for the misbehavior of a few. Ranked-choice pushes us to think more deeply about who should represent us. It asks us to consider more than the superficial qualities of candidates who are misrepresented on both sides by political advertisements.

The influence of foreign powers upon our election process is small in relation to the influence of wealthy Americans who manipulate elections by pouring their money into electing those who would represent their narrow and self-serving interests.

Ranked-choice voting is one small step toward resisting that undemocratic influence.

John Horstein


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