Letter: Portland election a model for Maine

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I am delighted to see that Will Graff is continuing to report on the important issue of ranked-choice voting as it is taken up by the Legislature. I was also pleased to see the Paul Bachorik letter supporting the idea.

There is another strong benefit of ranked-choice voting, or instant-runoff voting, that should be highlighted. I learned it from a talk given by Mike Brennan telling of his experience in running for mayor of Portland. He reported that the nature of the campaign was strongly altered for the good.

Candidates are rewarded by talking about issues and refraining from criticizing their opponents. If they say detrimental things about another candidate to a voter who is attracted to that other candidate, they harm the likelihood that they would win that voter’s second- or third-place vote, and that vote may turn out to be important.

The experience in Portland’s mayoral race was that candidates ran a much more positive, issue-oriented campaign. This is yet another important reason why a ranked-choice voting system should be supported for all elections in the state.

Cushman D. Anthony