Against the voices of the people

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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.

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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

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  • Marc A. Jalbert

    Given how we were treated last time around regarding referendum questions it may well make some of us think to select just what referendum questions we will vote on! Maybe none of them. Maybe just some of them. Maybe we’ll just pick those questions we can expect the legislature to leave alone and pass and ignore questionable questions we feel the legislature might undermine us on!

    • Jon Mennealy

      That’s probably what our leaders are hoping for. Except the referendum questions they propose because they are too chicken-crap to enact the law themselves – seat belt law, for one.