I wanted to thank Senator Bill Diamond (D-Cumberland), for demonstrating tremendous leadership recently in supporting LD 211, “An Act to Open Maine’s Primaries.” While the measure ultimately did not gain enough votes to pass, it’s important for us to recognize that Sen. Diamond once again showed that he represents ALL of his constituents, not just those who share his party affiliation.
LD 211 would have allowed unenrolled voters (commonly referred to as “independents”) to vote in the taxpayer funded primary elections. Thirty-five percent of Maine voters are unenrolled and under current Maine law are not permitted to vote in the primary elections, elections that decide 70% of state legislative races.
With 80% support from Maine voters, it’s clear that eventually unenrolled voters will be allowed to vote in primary elections, just as it happens in 36 other states around the country.
Thank you to Sen. Diamond for being on the right side of this issue!
Ranked Choice Voting is used in every federal primary and general election in Maine except for the presidential election. The Maine Legislature is considering a bill, LD 1083, that would remedy this and align Maine’s election law with the intent of voters.
LD 1083, commonly called “the Ranked Choice Voting for President bill,” would adopt RCV for the presidential general election and for any new presidential primary that is created and funded by the Maine Legislature.
Twice in two years Maine voters have rejected the old pick-one, first-past-the-post voting system and replaced it with Ranked Choice Voting. In November 2016, Maine voters adopted Ranked Choice Voting by the second largest initiative vote of the people in Maine’s history. In June 2018, Maine voters protected Ranked Choice Voting by a widening 8-point margin.
We are one state. We should have a uniform voting system. That system should be the one that is supported by a growing majority of Maine voters, Ranked Choice Voting, and not one that is opposed by a majority of voters, the old pick-one, first-past-the-post voting system.
LD 1083, introduced by Senate President Troy Jackson, proposes a simple expansion of Maine’s existing RCV voting system that worked well in 2018.
I encourage my former legislative colleagues to vote in favor of LD 1083. Ranked Choice Voting is simple, fair, and easy, and we need it in the 2020 presidential primary and general election.
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