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Sat Nov 11, 2017, 10:25 AM



Last edited Fri Nov 17, 2017, 09:37 PM - Edit history (4)

Hi Folks, Please sign up here if you can help to collect some signatures to enact the people's veto to stop the bad bill narrowly passed in the legislature which delays for four years and effectively repeals our Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) law passed by the people of Maine in 2016. See this link: http://www.rcvmaine.com/ ** If you would like to sign a petition, use the contact information on the site and someone will hook you up with a petition gatherer so you can sign. If you support RCV, please consider helping with letters to the editor, etc.

1) This like so many of our other referendums has been under attack mainly by Republicans in the legislature and LePage. This CAN NOT STAND! WE MUST TAKE A STAND!

2) Seven of the ten elections in the RCV law have no constitutional issue at all. We can use RCV for those seven elections: the primary elections in June for state and federal offices and for federal races in the general election in November of next year.

3) As you probably know the state supreme court, in an advisory opinion last spring, ruled that the three state level general election races were problematic because of the plurality clause in the constitution. They took a narrow view of "plurality" saying under that constitutional wording a candidate for state office in the general election was allowed to win by a mere plurality on the first count of the votes. Our view was that under RCV, which results in a majority, a majority is indeed a plurality. The court took a stricter reading of that clause in the state constitution. So, it is what it is. Fine. So we should fix the constitution by changing "plurality" to "majority." That was tried in June, but it takes a 2/3 vote in the legislature to make that change, and that failed because the R's and couple of D's in the Senate would not do it. So, Rep. Ackley of Monmouth introduced a bill in October to suspend RCV for those three state level general election races but allowed it to be used for the rest. And this passed the House. However, it was narrowly defeated in the Senate. So then some D's in the House switched their vote to instead support the bill to delay RCV for four years and then repeal it unless they can get the constitutional amendment which they know is not going to happen. This just thwarted the will of the voters yet again as they have been eliminating or drastically modifying our referendums in an unprecedented way. WE MUST STOP THIS!!

4) RCV is simply an instant runoff voting system that allows us to rank the candidates in races with more than two candidates in order of preference. If after a first vote no one gets a majority, the person who came in last is dropped, and the second-choice votes of those who voted for that candidate are distributed to the remaining candidates. The votes are then re-tabulated. This continues until a winner is determined, and that winner will have a real majority and not a mere plurality thereby much more closely reflecting the actual will of the voters. This is simple and used in many places around the country and around the world and has been for many years as have traditional runoff systems (but which are problematic because you have to return weeks later for a second in-person election, and turnout is almost always much lower). It is used in Portland for their mayoral election with great success.

5) So many people are running in the primaries for governor in 2018 that it is conceivable that without Ranked Choice Voting the votes could be so split that someone could win a major party nomination with just around 20% of the vote, or even less. How is that real democracy? How does that get us to an accurate measure of the real will of the voters? Wouldn't it be so much better to use the Ranked Choice Voting instant runoff process which would result in nominees for governor who would win with margins much closer to the actual preferences of a majority of voters and avoid all this vote-splitting and spoiler effect? The June primaries will be the the perfect time to try Ranked Choice Voting, and if history is any indication, most people will see just how easy and how much better it is, will like it as is the case in Portland and so many other places around the country and around the world.

Thanks very much!

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