Ranked Choice Voting empowers voters
To the Editor;
In the upcoming elections, Maine will again make history by using Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives races. RCV is simply a runoff voting system for races with more than two candidates done through one efficient ballot. It is completely non-partisan, and it is one person, one ranked-choice vote. RCV further empowers voters and gives us winners who better reflect the will of the people.
With RCV, if you so choose, you simply rank the candidates in order of preference. If someone gets a majority after the first count, it’s over. If not, the instant runoff kicks in. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and the ballots of those who selected that candidate as their first choice then go to their second choice. Everyone else’s ballots stay with their first choice. The ballots are then re-tabulated. This continues until there is a majority winner.
RCV was used successfully in last June’s primary elections. By all accounts, primary election voters overwhelmingly found RCV to be easy. It was cost-effective, and there was no “chaos.” It did not take “weeks” for the results. And RCV was again strongly supported by a solid majority of Maine voters.
Runoff election systems are pretty common. For example, the Maine Republican Party uses a runoff process similar to RCV to elect its party officers. RCV is used in Portland to elect its mayor, and Lewiston uses a traditional runoff process to elect its mayor. I would encourage voters to participate in ranking the federal-level candidates in the upcoming elections.