Letter: Beem oversimplifies the case for RCV

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I think Edgar Allen Beem does a disservice to us by implying that ranked choice voting is a partisan effort, and was merely a reaction to LePage’s governorship (“The Universal Notebook: When choices are rank, try ranked choice voting”). It is totally nonpartisan, or the League of Women Voters would not be endorsing it.

If two right-leaning candidates and one Democrat had been running for governor, RCV could have prevented the Republican vote from being split, and so allowing one of them to be elected instead of handing the election to the Democrat, who would have won only because the Republican vote was split.

Ranked choice voting merely allows the voter to rank their choices, so that voting for the one they love doesn’t prevent the one they can also tolerate from being elected, while never providing support for the one(s) deemed intolerable. 

The possible constitutional challenge seems surmountable, as surely the majority that this system of voting might produce would be a clearer indication of what voters want.

Nancy O’Hagan
Portland 

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  • EABeem

    I did not say RCV was a partisan effort. I said it was prompted by Paul LePage’s unpopular victories in three-way races. I do not believe for one second that we would be voting on RCV were it not for LePage. If LePage has been a Democrats and abused the people of Maine the way he has, we would still be looking at alternatives like RCV. I voted for RCV in order to see how it works statewide. I would have preferred open primaries. I’m afraid I cannot see RCV passing however.

  • Call-Sol

    Had not the duly elected Governor(twice) been ‘abused’ by the leading media on a daily basis–those hate-inspired PPH cartoons; there would not be so many discontented people seeking some way out the the decisions of the electorate. RCV has been rejected by Gov. Jerry Brown who actually implemented it while Mayor of Oakland; surely the ‘well-read’ Mr. Beem must have read his views?