I support Question 5 on the November ballot to implement ranked-choice voting. The political climate has become increasingly toxic, polarized and negative. Politics has become a place for mud-slinging and finger pointing and not a discussion of issues and policies to move Maine forward. For voters, it is very difficult to separate fact from fiction and make a good choice.

Ranked-choice voting is simple. It restores majority rule by allowing voters to rank the candidates — first choice, second choice, third choice, etc. The first choice of all voters is counted. If a candidate has a majority (50 percent or more of the vote), the election is over.

However, if nobody emerges with a majority, the last place candidate is eliminated. Voters whose candidate is eliminated, have their second choice then counted. In other words, every voter has the same opportunity to participate until a candidate wins with a majority of votes.

This system restores majority rule, encourages candidates to appeal to a broader base and build coalitions, reduces negative campaigning, encourages more candidates to run (resulting in more choice), eliminates run-off elections (saving money), eliminates vote splitting and encourages candidates to discuss issues and policies and not sling mud at their opponents.

More information about ranked choice voting may be found online.

Peter Chapman, Oxford


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