Maine people have voted twice for more voice and choice in elections. When they supported ranked-choice voting, in 2016 and 2018, they endorsed the idea of politicians elected by a majority, not politicians chosen for us by beyond-control, lawbreaking presidents and political party legmen – like former 2nd District U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, defeated for re-election in 2018, who is among those seeking to break the twice-voter-secured guarantee to select our president by the constitutionally guaranteed principle of one man/one woman, one vote.

What the Republican Party right now especially wants is to reopen the back door to vote-splitting, in order to steal yet another election by advantaging a proliferation of popular-vote choices among the majority, allowing a candidate opposed by a majority to win one or more of Maine’s four Electoral College votes. It has enlisted a cadre of non-Maine signature collection firm petitioners, who will be out there soliciting support to veto ranked-choice voting. What worthy arguments can they make against record-breaking votes in favor of ranked-choice voting by the Maine people and affirmations of the Maine Legislature and Maine and federal courts?

Why? The Republican Party bureaucracy is running scared that the people’s reclaiming of electoral power through ranked-choice voting will cost them the presidency. Why else would Poliquin and the Maine Republican Party go shopping for hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-state dark money, according to the Maine Ethics Commission? They’ve also hired out-of-Maine political consultants and signature gatherers for a petition to block the people’s ranked-choice voting law, which has been supported by both houses of the Maine Legislature. The use of ranked-choice in the June 2018 Maine Republican primaries was upheld by the U.S District Court for Maine, which also affirmed its constitutionality in the 2018 2nd District general election – further validating its use for the imminent 2020 presidential election.

And Republican Party fears have become more acute now by the massive grassroots support for Black Lives Matter, not only here in Portland and throughout our country but also by the hundreds of thousands peacefully putting lives at risk throughout the world for justice denied and the depth of new official and civic support for its protests. Further, the Republican Party has now witnessed the U.S. secretary of defense refusing President Trump’s request for use of active-duty troops to suppress peaceful civil disobedience, as well as our own City Council’s and Police Department’s respect for, and acceptance of, peaceful protest.

Now the Republican Party, fearing loss of an overweening grip on the presidential electoral process, is redoubling efforts in a last-ditch attempt to block the people’s right to ranked-choice voting, an attempt that – under Maine’s original constitution – would restore “majority” winners to our electoral process. It correctly perceives Maine’s leadership in adopting ranked-choice voting as a challenge to the party’s current national hegemony, as well as its tenuous bid for old-school, back room politics to regain lost local ground. Don’t allow our votes in the upcoming presidential election to be stolen – don’t sign petitions to block ranked-choice voting from being used on the November ballot.

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