We support the citizen initiative to enact ranked-choice voting in elections and primaries for governor, representatives to the U.S. Congress and to the Maine Senate and House of Representatives.

For too long, candidates for these offices have been elected with less than a majority of voters supporting them. The past six governors have each gained office with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Reforming the election process to allow voters to rank their preferences beyond only one choice would ensure a truly democratic outcome while still encouraging an open field of candidates.

Studies of ranked-choice voting in other states and cities have shown that the reformed process reduces negative campaigning and increases voter turnout. If candidates want to win, they will need to reach out to voters across the political divides to be in those voters’ top rankings. That can shape candidates’ thinking and the debate toward collaborative wisdom about how to help all Mainers have a better life.

Ranked-choice voting would also give absentee voters full participation in elections. Military personnel and others who are overseas are often excluded when a run-off election is required.

The more people who are able and inspired to vote their choices, the more likely it is that elected officials will truly represent the will of the people of Maine.

Ranked-choice voting will be very good for Maine.

Jim Cogan and Peg Hoffman, Lewiston


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