Letters to the Editor

Ranked-choice voting is a common-sense solution when multiple candidates

There’s got to be a better way. In this household, we have a Democrat and a Republican. We work things out through compromise and conversation. No one is happy 100 percent of the time – but that’s OK.

The political mess currently on the state and national political stage benefits no one.  The Legislature has adjourned with over 100 bills on its desk including tax conformity and Medicaid expansion. We have felt the lack of movement for several years, which is why the people are using the referendum process more and more. Politicians have stopped listening. Four referendums passed in in the last two years and yet all were stymied in the Legislature, with one of them likely headed for a gubernatorial veto.

We hold out hope however for ranked-choice voting (RCV). It is a common-sense solution to elections that have more than the two-party candidates. More and more we are seeing at least three people in the race. The primary race for governor has 7 Democrats and 4 Republicans. There are two independents but they don’t have a primary.  In June, the Democratic and Republican party gubernatorial candidates will be voted on using ranked-choice voting. It will allow us to rank our choices in order of preference until someone has a majority of the votes. The candidate with the least votes drops off and those votes are redistributed until someone has a clear majority — and if you don’t want to rank your candidates you don’t have to, you can still just pick one.  At the same time, you are using that process you will be voting on the future of RCV. The people clearly want it and the politicians have done their darndest to try and confuse the situation. We believe people know what they are voting for — that they aren’t stupid and those trying to create chaos will watch it backfire. It certainly did when the politicians sent the case to the state supreme court in April and the court ruled that RCV was legal and should move forward.

I have never felt that having more choice is a bad thing. When it’s leftover night in our house and we have lasagna, pot roast and baked beans, if my wife wants the lasagna I don’t throw up my hands and refuse dinner. I pick between the pot roast and the beans — what is my second choice? It’s really that simple and guess what — nobody goes hungry.  So, let’s apply that same principle and vote Yes on Question 1 on June 12.

Torrey & Jennifer Sylvester
New Limerick

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