Friday, October 31, 2014

James Fallows of the Atlantic backs Maine campaign for ranked choice voting

James Fallows, one of the leading journalists of our era and former chief speechwriter in the Carter administration, devoted his Atlantic column yesterday to the governor's race in Maine, where eight of the last 10 races  for governor were won with less than 50 percent. Fallows has this to say about ranked choice voting.

This also heightens the importance of what [independent candidate] Eliot Cutler said yesterday, after saying that his supporters should feel free to pay attention to the polls when considering their vote: "For those voters who have been seized with anxiety and who don’t want fear to become an indelible hallmark of politics in Maine I have a single request: Regardless of whether you vote for me or someone else, please join me in supporting the proposed citizens’ initiative on ranked choice voting and sign a petition at the polls on November 4 to bring ranked choice voting to a vote of the people in a referendum."

The machinery of democracy is already flawed in enough ways, inadvertent and intentional, and the match between party alignment and popular wishes is already sufficiently askew, that we need to seize any opportunity to fix easily correctible errors. So if I were in Maine, in addition to considering "strategic" voting, I would sign that petition. People of Maine, over to you.

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