3

Maine Greens Applaud Passage of Instant Runoff Voting in Portland

MAINE GREENS CONGRATULATE CANDIDATES FOR RUNNING STRONG CAMPAIGNS, STRENGTHEN THE CALL FOR ELECTORAL REFORM

Maine Green Independent Party Candidates who ran for the office of state house and state senate ran strong campaigns, often finishing a close second in the race Tuesday night. Fred Horch, of Brunswick, ran a close second with 34% of the vote in District 66.

In Portland, voters approved the work the of the Portland Charter Commission that calls for the election of a mayor using instant runoff voting, a method of voting that allows voters to choose their preference of candidates by number.
“This is a great victory for the people of Portland and those of us who worked for this reform on the commission,” said Anna Trevorrow, a Green Independent candidate who finished second in her race for state house in district 120, against incumbent Diane Russell.

“This also provides us the opportunity to use instant runoff voting as a starting point for electoral reform in the city and as a model for the state,” said Trevorrow who also serves on the state steering committee. Eliot Cutler, the gubernatorial candidate that finished second in Tuesday’s race, was quoted today on MPBN that he would like to pursue a method of electoral reform in Maine that included a runoff.

The Maine Green Independent Party has always favored instant-runoff voting as a more democratic way of voting, since it eliminates the need for a second election between the candidates who receive the top percentages of the vote and allows voter to rank their preference of candidates in order from one to the amount of total candidates. It would also mean the winner would have to get just over 50% of the vote to be declared the winner, thus encouraging all candidates to run positive campaigns.

“It’s time to take instant-runoff voting seriously, especially if people are going to look into the idea of having a runoff election. The runoff could take place by the election workers and require no additional voting, no second election,” said Nate Shea, media chair for the Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP). “It would also encourage greater civic participation and would encourage candidates to soften their tone to attract a wide-range of voters, not just their base,” said Shea.

The MGIP plans to pursue the idea and implementation of instant runoff voting for future elections. Party leaders and members plan to contact members of the legislature as well as key political players who have expressed an interest in the reform. Anyone who is interested and would like to express their support for or learn more about instant runoff voting is encouraged to visit our website at www.mainegreens.org and click on the “contact us” tab or call the Portland office at (207)699-1321.

-30-

Press contact: Nate Shea – nateshea78@gmail.com (207)745-4517
Spokesperson: Anna Trevorrow – ajtrev@gwi.net, (207)699-4141

Ronald Hardy

3 Comments

  1. It isn’t always about what party a system benefits. Sometimes it is about giving the voter more flexibility with their vote, or saving a district money by eliminating the need for a primary.

  2. IRV doesn’t help “voter flexibility” either (whatever that even means).

    I understand the desire for change, but if you’re going to change away from plurality, the next-worse choice is IRV. There are lots of other options out there that are much, much better.

    I recommend picking up a copy of William Poundstone’s “Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren’t Fair and What We Can Do About It.” Or just look at this graphic from the conclusion:

    http://rangevoting.org/BayRegsFig.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.