Mainers seem to take voting more seriously than citizens of other states. Our 2014 voter participation topped the nation at 59.3 percent. We beat the next highest, Wisconsin (56.9 percent), handily and ran way ahead of the 36.3 percent national average. Voters in conservative Texas (28.5) and liberal New York (28.8) appear woefully apathetic by comparison. We deduce a relationship between high participation rates and Mainers’ attraction to measures designed to improve the democratic process. The latest such measure concerns “Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV).” The Maine Ranked Choice Voting Initiative, known as Question 5, was approved last November by a margin of 52 percent to 48. But the RCV passion didn’t suddenly grip the minds and imaginations of 388,273 Maine voters late some night in 2016. Persuasion was necessary. The Maine Commission on Government Ethics and Election Practices records reveal the names of the organized persuaders.
These were the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, The Chamberlain Project PAC, The Chamberlain Project Ballot Question Committee (BQC), Fair Vote BQC, GreenME PAC, Maine People’s Alliance BQC, Maine Democratic Party, Libertarian Party of Maine, Maine Green Independent Party and the League of Women Voters of Maine.
Cassius Longinus, a Roman magistrate, was famous for a signature question “Cui Bono?” — who benefits? — and this Latin phrase has endured to the present day as a vital component of criminal investigation. It’s indispensable for establishing motive.
The Maine Republican Party and allied organizations didn’t see enough “Bono” in defeating Question 5 to justify spending money for its defeat. Ballotpedia reports that as of January 2017, organizations supporting Question 5 raised a total of $2,944,419.44. Its opponents could not raise even 44 cents.
Full Article: Who benefits from ranked-choice voting? | The Maine Wire.