Voices & Choices

News Roundup: Ranked choice voting comes to presidential elections

News Roundup: Ranked choice voting comes to presidential elections

Have you been following the debate about ranked choice voting (RCV) in Maine? This week, RCV took a major step forward when the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that it can be used in the state’s presidential elections. Here are some of the best articles that have come out about the ruling in the last few days.

The Fulcrum reported on the historic nature of the ruling and how RCV can encourage more positive campaigning. 

“The ruling is a huge symbolic victory for advocates of ranked elections, who view them as a magic formula for improving democracy by reducing the major parties' influence, encouraging more consensus-building campaigns, promoting the prospects of outsiders — and guaranteeing winners can claim a mandate because they have been endorsed by most voters.” - The Fulcrum Staff

The Portland Press Herald discussed RCV’s long history in Maine, noting that “Maine residents have voted twice to use the ranked-choice process in most state and federal elections – during the initial ballot question in 2016 and again in a June 2018 referendum reaffirming the law.” 

Reason explained that with RCV, Mainers don’t have to worry about ‘wasting’ their vote if they choose to rank a third party candidate first.

“Proponents of ranked-choice voting argue that this pushes races away from polarizing winner-takes-all campaigns and allows people to support independent and third-party candidates while still being able to vote for the Democratic or Republican Party nominee if they so choose.” - Scott Shackford, Reason Associate Editor

Common Dreams connected RCV’s success in Maine with the growing movement to adopt it in communities from coast to coast. 

“Tuesday's ruling came on the heels of a op-ed in favor of RCV from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) in the Boston Globe last week. Citizens in Massachusetts and Alaska will vote on implementing the process in their states in November, as will residents of cities in California, Colorado, and Minnesota.” - Lisa Newcomb, Common Dreams staff writer.

Evan Falchuk, who is serving on a campaign to expand RCV to Massachusetts, told Common Dreams that “this ruling is the latest victory for voters who want more consensus, more choice, and a greater voice. Ranked-choice voting is popular, effective, constitutional and best reflects the will of the majority of voters."

FairVote is thrilled that Mainers will have the opportunity to use RCV in their November elections. We will keep tracking coverage of the issue, and encourage all those who want a fairer democracy to get involved in bringing RCV to their states.


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