Ranked choice

To the Editor:

Did you know that in the state of Maine, no candidate for governor since 1974 has received more than 50 percent of the vote except for Joe Brennan and Angus King.

Maine has been noted over the years to be an independent state with multiple candidates running for office. In November, the people of the state of Maine will be asked to vote on this important change in our voting system. If passed, we will be the first state to have ranked-choice voting. It’s our hope that voters will educate themselves about this change and will support it in November.

Instead of choosing one candidate, voters will have the opportunity to rank the candidates as their first, second, third (more if needed) choices on the ballot. If no one receives 50.1 percent of the total vote cast, the candidate with the fewest votes will be eliminated, and his/her votes will be distributed to that voter’s second choice. This redistribution of votes will continue until a candidate receives 50.1 percent of the votes cast.

At least 20 U.S. cities have been using this system for some time. The city of Portland elected their mayor using ranked-choice voting in 2015. We hope that Maine will be the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting.

Mary C. Drury

Alice MacDonald Long

Bar Harbor

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