The winnowing process has begun, but in March of 2020 there will still be many candidates running to be the Democratic Party nominee for president. The Maine Legislature wisely determined last session that Maine should hold a presidential primary in March, rather than a caucus in June. That will allow more people to have a say in this important decision.

The Legislature also determined that ranked-choice voting will be used in the primary. That is hugely important because there will be so many candidates on the ballot. Without ranked-choice voting, it is possible that the winner would receive as little as 20% of the votes, meaning that 80% of people’s votes would have been “wasted.”

LD1083, which would put in place a March primary and RCV for the primary, was approved by the appropriate committees of both legislative bodies last session, and the committee reports were accepted. But, due to a “glitch,” LD 1083 was not enacted.

The people of Maine have voted twice by referendum to use ranked-choice voting wherever it is constitutional. RCV is constitutional for primaries in Maine.

The people of Maine and the nation desperately need to have the next presidential election be fair. Withholding ranked-choice voting from the people of Maine in this extremely important election due to a technicality would be a travesty of justice.

The legislature should act immediately to prevent a technicality from spoiling its otherwise stellar record.

Ben Lounsbury, Auburn

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