2018-01-12 / Letters

Election by majority is the way to go

To the editor:

Maine’s original constitution of 1820 called for majority votes in order to elect our leaders. Back in those days of riding horseback to the polls and counting ballots by hand, the goal of achieving a majority was difficult to accomplish. Thus our Constitution was changed to require only a plurality in order to elect a leader.

Today, with computers counting our votes, it is possible to achieve majority support for our elected officials through instant runoff methods, such as ranked choice voting. The people of Maine voted to do just this in November 2016.

Our Supreme Court said ranking our choices is constitutional for federal elections and primaries, but due to the amendment to our Constitution calling only for a plurality, it cannot be used at this time for in-state elections. A majority of Mainers are ready and eager to use ranked choice ballots where they are permitted, but our Legislature has delayed its use for four years.

People no longer trust our leaders, who in many cases ignore the will of the people. Approval of our Congress in Washington is at an all-time low. How are we to choose the best leaders when we have 10 candidates in a primary and one can win with just 12 percent of the vote, or in a three-way race, which can be won by 35 percent? Requiring majority votes would result in wider support for our elected leaders.

Friday, Jan. 19 is the deadline to sign a petition telling the Legislature we will use ranked choice voting now, where it is allowed. Volunteers are braving the cold to make the petitions available. If you want majority support for our leaders, please sign.

Victoria Adams
Kennebunk

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