Posted by Samuel Rowe on June 12, 2018 at 11:00 AM
On Sunday, one of our nation’s most prestigious newspapers, The New York Times, published a detailed editorial explaining its support for more states and cities using ranked choice voting (RCV). The Times editorial is a must-read and echoes past support from papers like the Washington Post and USA Today
History is also being made today in Maine as voters head to the polls in the nation’s first statewide use of RCV or elections for all primaries in the modern era. Mainers will use RCV in multiple races, including the crowded primaries for the Republican and Democratic nominees for governor, and the Democratic nominee in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, who will take on incumbent, Rep. Bruce Poliquin in November.
Voters will also decide Question 1 on the ballot, the referendum to finally solidify RCV as the system the state will use for future congressional and primary elections. It’s an easy “Yes” on a murkily worded ballot question, so if you know friends in Maine, please remind them that any eligible voter in Maine can still vote today -- including those residents not yet registered or those registered as independents.
Question 1 in Maine has received a lot of high-profile attention, including a passionate op-ed from Phish drummer Jon Fishman, a video from Maine’s Committee for Ranked Choice Voting starring Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, and a statement from Maine Sen. Angus King, urging voters to vote yes on Question 1. Its been covered well by the likes of the New York Times and CNN with our quoted insights.
Nationally, conservative syndicated columnist David Brooks wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, “One Reform to Save America” endorsing RCV and the Fair Representation Act in Congress. The Times also published a pro-RCV piece by two Nobel Prize winners, and I was a featured guest on the NPR program 1A. Other good reporting on the Maine appear in the Washington Post and Vox as well.
Ranked choice voting is also getting increasing play in cities. San Francisco just held a special election for mayor with RCV, and its unexpected high turnout for mayor outpaced turnout for the races for governor and US Senate at the top of the ballot. The city council of Las Cruces, the second biggest city in New Mexico, voted unanimously to use RCV next year - the second unanimous city council vote of the year after St. Louis Park (MN). And today, I’m presenting to the New York City charter commission about RCV alongside a number of city reform advocates.
Again, if you have friends in Maine, please contact them, remind them to get out and vote on Question 1, to protect more choices and a greater voice at the ballot box.
President and CEO, FairVote