Many perspectives, 1 simple etiquette

Bangor Daily Op-Ed: Vote YES for Ranked Choice Voting

Author: Fair Vote
Created: 30 April, 2018
Updated: 17 October, 2022
2 min read

In an op-ed for the Bangor Daily News, Ned White rightly points out the future of ranked choice voting (RCV) is once again in the hands of voters. After 52 percent of Maine voters supported the implementation of RCV in 2016, the Maine legislature passed a law to delay the implementation until 2022.

In response, RCV supporters gathered more than 70,000 signatures for a ‘People’s Veto,’ which prevents the delay and places RCV once again on the ballot.

On June 12, voters will be asked if they reject the legislature’s attempt to delay the implementation of RCV on Question 1, the only initiative on the ballot:

“Do you want to reject the parts of a new law that would delay the use of ranked-choice voting in the election of candidates for any state or federal office until 2022, and then retain the method only if the constitution is amended by December 1, 2021, to allow ranked-choice voting for candidates in state elections?”

The question is worded this way because it has to specifically address the law passed by the legislature to delay the reform. Additionally, the measure addresses the potential use of RCV for state elections if the state constitution is amended. Currently, the state constitution says candidates for governor, state senator, and state legislature can win by plurality, not majority.

That has been a touchy subject for Maine voters, considering there has not been a majority winner in nine of the last 11 races for governor, including both times the controversial Paul LePage won the office, with 48.2 percent in a 3-way race in 2014 and only 37.6 percent in a 4-way race in 2010.

White explains what a “yes” vote on Question 1 will mean:

RCV will continue to apply to party primaries (Republican, Democrat, Green) for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, State Senate, State House, and Governor

RCV will not apply to general elections for Governor, State Senator, and State Representative until/unless the constitution is amended to dump the “plurality” language

RCV will apply (for the first time ever) to general elections for U.S. Senate and U.S. House

A sample ballot is included in the piece, which the author says he likes, calling it “clean and simple.”


Ultimately, White lists the reasons to vote yes on the measure:

  • Gives you more voice in an election
  • Gets rid of voting for “the lesser of two evils”
  • Eliminates the possibility of “spoiler” candidates
  • Promotes more positive campaigning

This June, Maine voters have a chance to make their elections better for everyone.

Editor's note: This piece originally published on FairVote's blog and has been modified slightly for publication on IVN.

Read more

fair maps
Gerrymandering Reform: Are We Asking the Wrong Question?
Photo Credit:  ...
01 March, 2024
7 min read
joined hands
10 Reasons Why Americans Are Not as Divided as You Think
Photo by on  Party leaders, politicians, and media pundits and talking heads would have US voters b...
28 February, 2024
7 min read
LetUsVote: New Campaign Launches to End Discrimination Against Independent Voters
Open Primaries, in partnership with Unite America, announced the launch of LetUsVote Wednesday, a nationwide initiative that aims to mobilize and empower independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in the US but are treated like second-class voters....
27 February, 2024
4 min read
For Good or Bad, Primary Changes May Be Coming to Elections Near You
Photo Credit:  The last couple of years have seen an increase in states looking to change their prim...
26 February, 2024
4 min read
The Primary Problem: Only 8% of Voters Elect 83% of Our Representatives
In his latest podcast, former Democratic presidential candidate and Forward Party Co-Founder Andrew ...
26 February, 2024
3 min read
Blame This One on Secretary of State Weber
Eight years ago, there was a competition still in play between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton wh...
26 February, 2024
4 min read