Commentary

Ranked-Choice Voting Throws Out Traditional Voting System

on

Question 5 on the November ballot is asking Mainers to replace traditional elections with a voting scheme that would give losing candidates a second chance at winning—and maybe even a third chance.

The proposal for ranked-choice voting would throw out the traditional voting system we have been using for 200 years. It would create a complicated system of multiple rounds of voting in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority.

Some ballots would be discarded and America’s time-honored tradition of “one person, one vote” would no longer apply. This bizarre and cumbersome system would mean that some votes will be counted multiple times, but others may not be counted. In fact, your vote may not count at all.

This flies in the face of the Maine Constitution, which requires that a candidate win with a plurality of votes—not a majority. Even the Attorney General has stated concerns that several parts of the proposal are unconstitutional.

Now, there are states, like Louisiana and Georgia that have a run-off voting system. If Mainers want a majority winner this is one way to have that happen.

With this ranked-choice voting scheme, one political party could flood the field with candidates, denying voters a choice of political ideologies and ensuring that one party could rule the state. We tried that for 40 years with disastrous results.

It also requires that all ballots be transported to Augusta for counting. That would be an expensive process and make it difficult to keep track of votes. It could also lead to fraud in how the ballots are counted. Local communities now count the ballots, and then send the results to Augusta. This system has worked well for many decades, and there is no logical reason to change it.

Once again, wealthy out-of-state activists funded this ballot question. Mainers are not asking to change how they vote. This proposal is a solution in search of a problem.

The Maine people are not ready to ignore their constitution and allow ranked-choice voting. Officials who get a plurality of votes win the election. It’s that simple.

Ranked-choice voting is just another way for sore losers to try to overturn election results they don’t like. In the last election, wealthy liberals outspent me by more than two-to-one, but nearly 300-thousand Mainers voted for me and that is more votes received than any other Governor in Maine history.

If liberals want to win elections with a majority of votes, then they need to put up good candidates. They need to choose candidates who will work on the issues Mainers really care about—not a failed socialist ideology.

Ignoring our constitution is not the way to do it.

About Paul LePage

Governor Paul LePage (R) has served as the 74th Governor of Maine since 2011. Prior to his time as governor, LePage served as the general manager of Marden's and as the mayor of Waterville.

Recommended for you

Comments