The votes are in, but regardless of anyone’s personal choice, it should be disturbing to all who believe in the democratic process that we have, once again, elected officials without the consensus of a majority of Maine voters.

Maine already has a three-party system representing us in Congress, with Sen. Angus King elected as an independent, Republicans Sen. Collins and just-elected Bruce Poliquin, and Democrat Rep. Chellie Pingree. Yet the election process does not require a majority of votes for the winner, only a plurality of the votes cast.

We deserve better.

We deserve to have elected officials representing the majority of opinion in our state.

That is not rocket science. It can be achieved by an expensive, slow, and painful runoff process between the two top candidates, or it can be achieved by ranked choice voting, a process where voters choose their first, second or third choice candidates on a single ballot on a single election day.

The process is already used in some other states and locales, and it is a process that is needed in Maine. People should be able to vote their convictions without the threat of wasting their votes because news polls (which most people don’t participate in) have convinced them that their vote will be wasted.

Or, as Sen. King said, “a protest.”

People should vote without fear. Ranked choice voting enables people to vote their convictions. It is a process whose time has come. It is a process the public deserves.

William Phillips, Auburn

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