I am very grateful to the Sun Journal for printing my frequent letters. But a recent article saddened me because it showed how newspapers feel they need to grab the attention of readers in order to interest them in complicated subjects.

“U.S. House GOP leader assails Maine for using ranked-choice voting” (story, April 2) was the headline over a picture of Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy.

Republicans all across the country are assailing RCV, so why is that news? Far down in the article it was revealed that he said it on Fox News.


The otherwise excellent article went on to describe various bills proposed in the Maine Legislature that would extend RCV so that it can be used in all state elections. That is real news. And in two of the last five paragraphs in a 25-paragraph article it states that RCV is not a partisan system. RCV does not help one party more than another. That is real news. It should be a well-known fact, but Republicans refuse to acknowledge it.

The original Maine Constitution stipulated that contestants for state offices win by a majority. But in 1880 no candidate for governor received a majority vote in a three-way race. The Legislature’s handling of the problem almost led to an armed rebellion. The famous Joshua Chamberlain had to suppress the rebellion. So the Legislature changed the word “majority” to “plurality.”

My suggestion: change it back. RCV is the modern answer to the non-majority winner problem.

Ben Lounsbury, Auburn

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