Don’t let any one person, with an agenda or bias educate you. Opponents shouldn’t be your source of information on any issue. Their explanations are suspect and unnecessarily confusing and amount to fear mongering. Don’t believe supporters unquestioned either!
The point of every election is to have your supporters come out and vote. Too often, those opposed to RCV make it sound like a conspiracy, when that is just normal voting.
Ranked choice voting systems do not let any person or party “flood” an election, that doesn’t even make sense. If a party put multiple candidates on the ballot, it would only serve to divide their own party’s votes, and potentially eliminate the candidate that they would have preferred. The scenarios opponents describe wouldn’t have the effect they are implying, and wouldn’t strengthen a party’s chances, but weaken it.
A video on YouTube I posted at the end of this article explains the problems with the way we vote now when there are multiple candidates in an election. It is made by a U.K. Citizen, C.G.P. Grey, who produces many educational videos on YouTube. He explores a number of different voting systems in other videos too.
RCV has been proposed by Democrats and Republicans and Independents. It has been used since 1908, successfully in Australia, and other nations, states, and municipalities.
In Ranked Choice Voting, if a candidate gets a majority of the votes, 50%, plus 1, they win. This has the bonus of legitimizing the victory of the candidate, and helps them move forward to govern and lead. With minority/plurality winners (like LePage with 39% or Baldacci with 38%, see? It affects BOTH major parties, it is not a D or R issue at all), there is lingering resentment among the majority who voted for other candidates, which can affect the ability to govern.
With RCV, in the event no candidate has a majority, the candidate with the fewest number amount of votes is removed (or eliminated, but it is not a conspiracy or plot, it is because they had the least amount of support in the vote).
Then all the votes are counted again. People who voted for the removed candidate get counted with their second choice–or the person they would have voted for if their first choice candidate was never in the race.
Everyone else, who still has their candidate in the race has their ballots counted again.
In each round of voting, one person, one vote is preserved. People who are saying Ranked Choice violates, one person, one vote or just not being honest.
This is the quality in RCV that minimizes the “Spoiler Effect” that is a huge problem in the way we vote now. The spoiler effect is abused and gamed by dishonest and unethical factions, who support multiple candidates to split and divide other political parties.
RCV let’s people vote for candidates they truly like and agree with, even if done as a protest vote, or even if they know their candidate doesn’t have a chance of winning, without unintentionally helping a candidate they may well hate from getting elected over another candidate they might prefer.
We should have the right to vote for who we truly prefer, without our votes spoiling an election. A democracy where the winner is a majority winner (50%+1) benefits us all.
RCV has the effect of encouraging candidates to run positive campaigns to appeal to all voters, not only their own faction. RCV doesn’t eliminate negative campaigning, but in practice RCV elections are more positive as candidates want to gain 2nd or 3rd preference votes, even if a voter doesn’t pick them as their 1st choice.
Remember, preference isn’t an extra vote, it is the vote they would have cast if their first choice candidate wasn’t in the race to begin with. RCV is a BETTER system to let voters decide among a field of more than two candidates.
I urge all Maine voters to gift ourselves with a system that gives us all–Republican, Democrat, Independent, and Alternative voters–a system to express our true preferences to find a majority winner who best represents all the voters. We can be a model for the nation, and hopefully open the way to better candidates that truly unite us as a nation rather than dividing us further.