Maine voters already approved the switch to RCV back in 2016, but Democrats and Republicans worked to block the new system when they voted to repeal the law in 2017. The will of the people should not be ignored because legislators are afraid of a little competition.
Speaking of competition, one of the biggest benefits of switching to RCV is the competition it creates in the political arena. Rather than being presented with just two candidates and forced to pick the lesser of two evils, RCV allows voters to indicate their preference for all candidates. This means that you can actually vote for the candidate you like the most - even if they don’t belong to one of the two major parties - without the danger of inadvertently electing the candidate you like least.
RCV also benefits voters by decreasing polarizing rhetoric and negative campaigning. Rather than focusing on appealing to one’s traditional base by demonizing one’s opponent, candidates will have to shift their campaign tactics by listening to the needs of all voters and crafting policy stances that will benefit more than just their own tribe. By requiring candidates to reach beyond their political bases to secure a majority, RCV ensures that the candidate who wins will be representative of the majority of his or her constituents.
- Having a state permanently switch to RCV for statewide elections would be a major milestone for the electoral reform movement. So far, RCV has only been used in America for city and county elections. While the system has been positively received for such elections, is is time to try RCV on the state level to see how our democracy can benefit. RCV in Maine is just the first step in reforming the nation’s electoral system so that it will work better for voters.
RCV in Maine has already received a multitude of endorsements, such as from the New York Times and Jennifer Lawrence - shouldn’t it be endorsed by you too?
Tanith holds a Bachelor of Science in Politics, Psychology, Law and Economics (PPLE) from the University of Amsterdam.
Views and opinions expressed in guest posts do not necessarily reflect those of Unite America.