Ranking choices means majority rules

To the editor,

Voters in Maine now have the right to rank their choice candidates for all federal elections. We have already used this form of voting for our U.S. congressional election and primaries. Now, we will also be using it for the presidential election, as was just confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The effect is that the winner will have the support of a majority of the voters. You will find the ballots easy to follow. Alongside the list of candidates there are columns for first, second, third etc. choices. You may vote just for your first choice, filling the oval in the first column next to the name of your favorite candidate. And you may add a second choice, filling in the oval next to your second choice candidate in the second column, etc.

If no candidate has 50 percent plus one in the first tally, the ranked choices come into play. The candidate who received the fewest votes, having no chance to win, will be eliminated. Ballots with that candidate as the first choice, will have their second choices distributed to remaining candidates as marked. The process continues until one candidate reaches a majority.

This method is preferable to accepting just a plurality in the first count, because it ensures that a majority of voters support the winning candidate, if not as their first choice, at least as their second choice. Making a second choice does not hurt your first choice candidate, because no candidate is eliminated unless they have too few votes to win.

Ranked Choice Voting does not favor a particular party.

Maine is the first state to use ranked choice in federal elections. Other states are considering it. We cannot yet use it in state elections, because the Maine Constitution was amended long ago to accept a plurality vote as winning.

Vicki Adams
Kennebunk

President pays taxes ‘like a pauper’

To the editor,

I can’t believe we have a president who lives like a billionaire and pays taxes like a pauper. What the heck. Between his bankruptcies and tax evasion he has lived on the dole most of his adult life. What a business man. And somehow he thinks social security taxes and property taxes are enough for him.

I wish I had that choice. The man knows no shame. He should.

Jacqueline Peters

Kennebunk

Election letters

To the editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to let you and readers know about how lucky we all are to have representation by Henry Ingwersen.

I met Henry over 20 years ago as a teacher’s intern at a small alternative school in southern Maine. Instantly, I was welcomed into the community with encouragement and compassion .

By Henry’s example, I was able to see that conflict resolution and compassion for all people is possible. Even through difficult situations and conversations, it was easy to see Henry’s true gift. Henry’s ability to communicate and facilitate democratic and peaceful resolution is amazing.

Henry is a true friend and inspiration to me that will affect me for the rest of my life. By his example as an amazing teacher, father and now politician, we can all see that true democracy is possible. Please join me in voting for Henry Ingwersen.

Charles Thomas

Lyman resident

To the editor,

During these times of insecurities, be they COVID, racial reckoning, or economic injustice, we need people in the State government who understand the issues and are willing to make a difference. The person for that job is Henry Ingwersen, going for re-election as representative for House District 10 which covers Arundel , Dayton and part of Lyman.

He is a former STEM teacher and when dealing with issues that require a scientific approach he follows the science and the facts regardless of the politics. In his first term, he was faced with a vote dealing with the anti-vax sentiment in the Legislature. He listened to both sides but in the end came out on the side of science when making a vote. Needless to say this upset some of his supporters, but he voted his conscience anyway.

He has been a positive force for the good in our community, involved with the Arundel Conservation Trust, nonprofits in the area, and a concerted effort to get people help during the COVID crisis.

For these reasons I urge you to vote for Henry Ingwersen.

Jake Hawkins
Arundel

To the editor,

I would love to have Joe Rafferty represent me in the Maine State Senate.

A lifelong teacher and coach, Joe is a decent, honest working class guy.

As a coach, he taught his kids how to be team players – what a great skill to bring to the Senate where only by working together with both parties, can progress be made.

Many years ago, I attended a meeting of the board of Children’s House preschool. A teacher had been given notice because she did not have a master’s degree and the new director thought it was vital that all the caregivers there have an advanced degree in order to take care of our four-year children. Among the many parents in attendance who spoke up for this teacher, were Joe Rafferty and Norma Nardone.

Joe spoke eloquently and from the heart. His commitment to fairness and recognition of the value of the diversity was plain. We would be fortunate to have such a man working for us in Augusta.

Please help elect Joe Rafferty to the Maine State Senate. Thank you.

Miriam Whitehouse

Kennebunk

To the editor,

I am a registered Independent, a veteran teacher, a mom, a Grammy and a Christian. Long ago, when I was a young girl growing up in Maine, my best friend’s mother was a Hungarian Jew who survived Auschwitz.

I vividly remember the day I broke down in tears telling her, “ I just can’t listen to another awful Auschwitz story.” She firmly replied , “Oh, yes you can listen. You can never let this kind of hatred for any group of people exist again.”

I have voted for Susan Collins many times, but this time I am humbly asking you to vote for Sara Gideon. We all need to support a candidate who in no way supports a president who endorses this kind of hatred. Our future depends on it.

Sandy Nadeau

Kennebunk

To the editor,

I am writing in support of Traci Gere for House District 9. In Maine, our natural resources are among our greatest assets. Our coastlines, beaches, working waterfronts, and seaside towns are icons recognized worldwide.

Climate change threatens these assets, with increasing impacts from flooding, storms, and ocean temperature rise.

We need forward-focused representatives in Augusta who will follow the science to tackle climate change head on and work to mitigate its detrimental effects. Equally important is Traci’s pledge to make our energy infrastructure environmentally sustainable.

I believe Traci Gere is the best candidate to bring commitment, vitality, and experience to this fight for Maine’s future.

Jon Dykstra

Kennebunkport

To the editor,

I have known Henry Ingwersen’s family for 38 years. Over the years, they have welcomed several young people into their home and have served as informal role models for a younger generation – including me.

When Henry became a new teacher, he didn’t have a classroom and instead carried his supplies from room to room with a wagon. Wanting to assure that each child felt a part of his roving classroom he transformed it into a dragon using each child’s thumbprint as a scale. This small thing shows how much Henry values community, connection, and encouraging everyone to be part of the whole.

So it seemed perfectly fitting that he decided to run for office after retiring from teaching. In 2018, I helped drive Henry while he was fulfilling his commitment to knock on every door in his district. I was so impressed with his ability to listen and connect with people from all walks of life, both sides of the political aisle, and all age groups.

Henry has a genuine curiosity about people’s stories and what they want to see more or less of. He is a good listener. He wants to know what his community cares about and how he can advocate for those needs in government. No problem is too small for him to tackle with his boundless optimism.

Henry is the type of representative who lets us each have a place to put our thumbprint. We need more of that in these trying times. I heartily endorse Henry Ingwersen for state representative.

Sarah Swenson

Lyman

To the editor,

Senator Robert Foley is not seeking reelection after his term ends this November. Bob has enthusiastically endorsed Michael Pardue to run for his seat serving District 34.

I’ve known Mike since moving to Kennebunk in ‘93 when both our families lived on the same street in winter rentals in Lower Village. A man of integrity, Mike would bring many years of experience in public service and leadership to the Senate.

As Kennebunk’s town manager, you can trust that Mike will continue to bring stability to our town during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. With his years of managerial experience, the towns of Acton, part of Berwick, Lebanon, Kennebunk, North Berwick and Wells can be certain that he will exhibit a sense of fairness and creative problem solving to help tackle Maine’s budget shortfall and the effects of the State shutdown on our region’s businesses and citizens.

Please join me in voting for Michael Pardue for State Senate District 34 on Nov. 3, or by absentee ballot. Mike is an excellent choice to continue Sen. Foley’s good work in Augusta.

Susan Karytko
West Kennebunk

To the editor,

We face a challenging, uncertain future here in Maine. The pandemic showcases the need for solutions around climate change, healthcare for our citizens, education, protection for businesses small and large. Right now, uncertainty is the only thing we can count on as we face the future of our community and our state.

For these uncertain times, those of us in House District 9 – Kennebunkport, coastal Kennebunk and Biddeford – have the opportunity to elect a dynamic leader.

Traci Gere offers integrity, intelligence, business and civic experience. She values our coastal community and is eager to hear from constituents. Traci is insightful, decisive and capable of creative leadership as our community moves forward and adapts to changing times. With so much at stake, we cannot default to tired solutions and purely partisan behavior.

I trust Traci Gere to provide the kind of vision and leadership required to face these challenges. Please join me in voting for Traci Gere.

Penelope Gruen

Kennebunkport

To the editor,

I am writing to express opposition to the candidacy of Mike Pardue for Senate District 34.

As Kennebunk town manager, he needs to prioritize the interests of Kennebunk. We trust our town manager to put our needs first when fighting for funds, services, and policy actions from the state.

As a state senator, he would have divided loyalties. He would be expected to serve the state as a whole in budget-setting and policy-making. And as the state senator for Acton, Lebanon, North Berwick, Wells, and part of Berwick, Mr. Pardue’s primary commitment to Kennebunk will be compromised whenever the interests of these other towns conflict with ours. Serving two interacting levels of government simultaneously creates unavoidable conflicts of duty.

Further, Mr. Pardue’s dual role as town manager and state senator would be greatly compromised because of the time required. Mr. Pardue would serve in Augusta for nine of the next 24 months. Current state legislators estimate their commitment to the legislature to be at least 30 hours per week – most of them during the business hours when Mr. Pardue fulfills his town manager duties.

Either Mr. Pardue’s attention to town business will be significantly reduced during these nine months, or he will be giving the interests of his senate district short shrift. Either way, we deserve better.

Joe Rafferty has the commitment, time, and ability to serve the six towns in Senate District 34. I hope the citizens in Senate District 34 see the wisdom of making him their senator.

Dan Sayre

Kennebunk