Diane Russell’s goal is to enable Mainers to vote for their favorite gubernatorial candidate, rather than against their least favorite. “We want to make sure that the person elected to run our state shares the values of the vast majority of this state,” said Russell.
Her bill would enable voters to list candidates in order of preference – something that she feels would make the process more democratic if none of them get more than 50 percent of the vote, as often happens. In the case of no clear winner, a so-called “instant run-off” takes place, whereby the weakest candidate is eliminated, and his or her votes are re-distributed using the voters’ second choice candidates. This process continues until one of them has more than 50 percent of the vote. This system, she says, gives voters more choice, enabling them to go for the candidate they like the most rather than having to vote strategically.
“We’re Americans we love choice. You got 3 different choices for ice cream, you want to go in and say ‘I would love some chocolate ice cream’. ‘You know what, we’re fresh out.’ ‘Well, do you have vanilla?’ Yeah we got vanilla.’ ‘Great I’ll take vanilla.’ Choice is all-American, the distinction is that we want to make sure we embrace that choice in the elections without spoiling the race,” Russell said.
Russell also argued it would make for more civilized political debate, and less mud-slinging, or negative campaigning. That, she says, is because a candidate would be less inclined to launch personal attacks against a rival, as this may alienate the rivals’ supporters, who in turn would be less inclined to put that candidate as their second choice.
Full Article: New Voting System Debated in Legislature.