How discouraged we were to find that the Maine Legislature has, once again, voted against the will of the people by repealing the results of the citizens’ ranked-choice voting referendum passed in 2016.
Less than a year after the second largest majority of voters in the history of citizen initiatives approved ranked-choice voting, the Legislature voted to deny Maine citizens the benefits of the law, enacted for the 2018 election cycle. The referendum had bipartisan support and was widely publicized. Voters of both parties knew what they were voting for.
While the Maine Supreme Court decided that part of the law was unconstitutional (for three of the 10 state offices), there were still seven elections which could have been carried out under a ranked-choice system.
Ranked-choice would have ensured that elected state leaders were representative of an actual majority of voters. Ranked-choice held the potential for less polarization and more civil and informed political conversations in this state, and yet the Legislature voted not to implement this law.
The people who profit by this repeal are the people who profit by keeping people divided, angry and polarized. Any representative who voted against the law is not representing the will of the people of Maine.
Before the 2018 elections, voters should ask candidates where they stand on carrying through with ranked-choice voting, or on supporting a constitutional amendment. If they are against that, they are against the voices of the people of Maine and should not be representing us.
Joan Beal, Norway
Kerry Read, South Paris
Jan Cardoza, Norway