Wrong about ranked choice voting

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This is in response to Robert Reed’s letter, “Ranked voting has flaws” (July 22).

In his letter, Reed essentially describes the ranked-choice voting movement as a sour-grapes response to the results of the past two gubernatorial elections. That is a misguided assumption, as well as an incomplete history of the movement’s progress in Maine.

First, Reed asserts there was an absence of advocacy for ranked-choice voting during the mid-2000s, when John Baldacci, a Democrat, won both elections with less than a majority of support.

Reed is wrong. Ranked-choice voting has been voted on four times since John Baldacci’s first election. In that time frame, the proposal has demonstrated broad support across party lines with multiple Republican co-sponsors, including former Reps. Stacey Fitts of Pittsfield, Gary Knight of Livermore Falls and Kathleen Chase of Wells.

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Second, Reed suspects his vote will not be counted on a ranked ballot if he does not happen to rank the winning candidate highly.

Here, too, he has his facts wrong on ranked-choice voting. All first-choice rankings for any candidates are counted in the first round of voting. Reed’s vote would always be counted, regardless of how many candidates he chose to rank, and whether any of them was a winner.

More information on how ranked-choice voting works can be found online.

Adam Pontius, Portland

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