Letter: Columnist underestimates ranked-choice voting

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Columnist Marian McCue decries ranked-choice voting as a reactionary initiative in the wake of Gov. Paul LePage’s consecutive victories in 2010 and 2014 (“Capitol Notebook: Second thoughts on ranked-choice voting,” Dec. 7).

Her opinion mistakes the origins of RCV in Maine, as well as the potential impacts of the reform.

RCV has been gaining momentum in Maine for over 15 years. In the mid 2000s, a number of RCV bills had Republican, Democratic and independent co-sponsors. Shortly thereafter, the League of Women Voters of Maine convened a comprehensive election reform study, which led to their endorsement of ranked-choice voting and the impetus for the current referendum.

Furthermore, the problem is not restricted to the last two election cycles. Since 1974, ten of Maine’s eleven gubernatorial races have featured three or more candidates; in nine of those races, the winner emerged with less than 50 percent of the vote.

As young voters, we recognize the importance of implementing a system that facilitates widespread participation in the political process, ensures majority rule and lends a voice to the most underrepresented demographics.

With these aspirations in mind, we should still look to ranked-choice voting as the gold standard.

Harlan Cutshall, Zoe Kitchel