To the editor:

Should elected officials earn 22% or over 50% of their citizens' votes?

I believe over 50%.

Unfortunately our current system of voting, which relies on a plurality not a majority of votes, helps candidates get elected without having the majority of public support.

In 2018, my congresswoman won her party primary with less than 22% of the votes cast. In 2020, another congressman in Massachusetts won with less than 23%.

For ranked choice voting, instead of voting for one person, you rank candidates by preference on your ballot.

If a candidate wins over 50% of first-preference votes, he or she will be declared the winner. If no candidate wins over 50%, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated and their second-preference choices are re-allocated among the remaining candidates.

The process is repeated until a candidate wins a majority, i.e. greater than 50%, of votes cast.

Ranked choice voting eliminates the “spoiler effect” that discourages voting for third-party candidates because of the fear of siphoning votes to reward an election to a dissimilar candidate.

Ranked choice voting encourages more competition for candidates to run against well monied, red and blue party duopoly darlings.

Ranked choice voting enables elections to be more civil and honest because candidates are incentivized to win your second choice vote if they can’t win your first.

Ranked choice voting is being used effectively in countries like Australia, Ireland and New Zealand.

Maine is the first state in the U.S. to use it to vote for president.

I hope your readers will vote yes on Question 2.

Thomas Hartwell


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