Maine could become the first state in the nation to implement ranked-choice voting in presidential primaries and general elections, as a bill to do such awaits a decision from Gov. Janet Mills and formal procedural steps by the two major state and national political parties.
So we asked our readers what they think about the possibility of extending ranked-choice voting to the upcoming 2020 presidential race.
Here are some of the responses we received in our comments sections, Facebook and Twitter, edited lightly for clarity.
Tell us what you think by responding in our comments section below.
SanfordRulezzz: “It should be 100% up to the parties what process they want to use to select their nominees. It’s none of the rest of our business. Now if they can’t nominate someone a moderate like me will vote for, then shame on them. They deserve to lose, in that case.”
Maurice_Brown: “Not a Republican and my answer is NO. People who want RCV is the same people who think every child playing sports deserves a trophy.”
Reg_Bamford: “So laughable. People that opposed RCV would be the first ones to be complaining if Maine wasted millions of dollars on a separate runoff election to ensure a candidate gets more than 50% of the vote. RCV gets you a fair result for way less money.”
pizanos: “The only reason most Republicans and many hard-core Democrats oppose RCV is that it directly threatens their two-party hold over elections. They prefer the spoiler effect of third-party candidates whereas RCV gives Third Party voters, Independents and Switch-Voters a meaningful say in election outcomes. It’s time we take on the hold the two major parties have had all along over what is supposed to be a democratic process. If nothing else, RCV at least ensures that the winner is acceptable to a majority of the voters.”
citizen: “People that don’t believe in the electoral vote, don’t know why it’s there, and how to protect against it. Or just don’t care. Would it be right if New York, and California judged who our president was on every election? While the rest of the countries votes didn’t matter? How would you work around this?”
Andrew: “It’s about time! Now we can take this loony, liberal, ‘elect a loser,’ rank choice voting to the Supreme Court and be done with it once and for all!”
Bionik1: “Now that we have seen how horrible rcv really is, lets vote on it again. Such a bad idea.”
Mr4x4: “50 states vote for 1 president yet no 2 states have the same voting laws. Confusing by design.”
brushdog: “Maybe next it will just one candidate running with police escorting voters to the polls. Then we can have a 100 percent majority. Obviously the system is broken and being run by whoever comes up with the next political gimmick that favors their agenda. I am grateful that our founding fathers are not around to see this sham.”
Wha: “There really is no point in having parties. People should be studying issues, not personalities. But since people generally don’t study and vote for the guy they would be most willing to have a beer with, the 2 party system allows for the most people to be happy after an election.
If you fracture the electorate into little groups, then NONE of them can ever gain a majority of voters. See Italy. If you have 5 parties, and they are equally populated, only one party can win, and only 20% of the population will be happy with the results.
If there’s only 2 choices, there’s a clear winner. I’d be willing to drop the candidates with the least votes in a 3-way election, IF the entire vote was then redone from scratch with only the 2 major candidates left on the ticket. Then people would have time to reevaluate and choose the one closest to their values. But elections are costly and people don’t have a lot of time off from work, so many working people may lose their vote that way. That puts you back to normal elections.
But not RCV. Not this multilevel ballot that cannot be tabulated at your own municipality with your own town ballot clerks in attendance, and your own results published in your town first. I saw towns in NH totally erase votes made for conservative candidates. And the townspeople had no way to prove it. A family of nearly 2 dozen were told nobody voted for the candidate they voted for, in a town with only about 50 voters. Sorry but that’s wrong. I do not like this “transporting ballots and voter tabulation media” to the state for recounting. It’s too far away from local control, and there are too many easy ways to fraud the vote.
And we didn’t know for more than a month after the elections who would be in office. That was just plain irresponsible.”
Gopher63: “Good idea, hope it passes.”
myxemia: “Absolutely not. Is Maine turning into a Democratic communist party? Like the communist party if they don’t like the results, change the rules.”
David Reed, via Facebook: “RCV is the best thing to happen to this state since 1820. I support this, 100%.”
Jill Leslie Madura, via Facebook: “I decided not to pick a second or third choice with our first RCV. I believe I only get one vote! We cannot be forced to utilize RCV at the voting booths and I will never do it.”
Baird Welch-Collins, via Facebook: “Now, if only we can get RCV nationwide and have an actual representative democracy!”
Rosanne Tartaro-O’Donnell, via Facebook: “This would be a tragedy! I hope it does not happen…RCV is a scam!”
Dale Jackson, via Facebook: “This is just a way the Dems are doing away with electoral college. Soon NY and Cali and few others will decide every Presidential election. Keep giving up your rights. If this happens soon nobody running for President will ever use money to campaign in Maine. We may say great, but it brings in millions and millions to business who help both sides. Your voice will no longer matter.”
Justin Steele, via Facebook: “Can you imagine being ‘Angry’ at a more fair voting system that actually gave citizens a voice, rather than pitting them against each other?”
Evelyn Adams, via Facebook: “Will you please leave the way we vote alone. I think you have greater issues to take care of.”
Candy Nevers, via Facebook: “This is just wrong and will just muddy up elections/results.”
@SeamusDesign, via Twitter: “Yes. Yes. Yes. Fair and balanced elections.”
@IAmTheEGGMan4, via Twitter: “No! No rank choice voting for anything. First past the goal post for all elections and primaries. It’s worked for over two hundred years but now democrats think they are smarter than our founding fathers. They are not.”