In the past, if you didn’t like either major party candidate, you probably would not have voted for an independent. You voted for the major party candidate you disliked the least to prevent the other from winning. That’s called “strategic voting.” Now, with ranked choice voting, you can “vote your conscience.”

Rank the independent(s) you like above Gideon and Collins. Then rank Gideon and/or Collins. Let the independents know you like them.

Mainers have said twice in statewide referenda that they like ranked choice voting. The Maine Legislature has now given you the opportunity to use ranked choice voting for president. The courts have said RCV is legal and good.  So make use of your hard-earned privilege. No other state has this flexibility.

Why don’t we get to use RCV for governor and state reps and senators? Because computers and RCV didn’t exist in 1880. Then, after an armed rebellion, the Maine Legislature amended the Constitution to allow a non-majority candidate to win because a third-party candidate got enough votes to prevent any candidate from getting a majority in an election for governor. Now, we have RCV and it works.

We should go back to the original state constitutional requirement that a candidate must have a majority to win any state office. We should have ranked choice voting down the entire ballot.

We must exercise our RCV privilege on Nov. 3. Then we should tell our legislators we want RCV everywhere.

Ben Lounsbury, Auburn


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