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Ranked choice voting in Maine

What are your thoughts on RTV now that Maine held the first statewide RTV election in the US?

  • I like it

    Votes: 26 74.3%
  • I don't like it

    Votes: 5 14.3%
  • not sure

    Votes: 4 11.4%

  • Total voters
    35

Masterhawk

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This midterm election was the first in which the state of Maine held ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting or alternative voting). This is the result of question 5, a ballot measure which introduced this method of voting for governor, state legislators, and congressmen.


Maine's senate and gubernational elections both saw one candidate win a majority in the first round so the system didn't go into effect.

The house elections were a bit more interesting. The state has two districts and the first saw one candidate win by a majority. In the second district, the incumbent republican Bruce Poliquin won the initial round with 46.4% of the vote. But once the two independent candidates were eliminated, the democrat Jared Golden won a bare majority with 50.53% of the vote.

In the state legislature, the republicans made gains in both chambers and gained a majority in the house (the democrats currently hold a majority in both chambers).There are a few independents in the house but this was true before question 5 passed.

The state of Maine typically leans democrat and the state already has a few independents. It would be really interesting to see RTV at work in a swing state.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Ranked choice voting is objectively more democratic and makes third party and independent candidates more viable. It largely eliminates the "lesser of two evils" voting strategy that is the worst cancer of American politics. With it Americans can vote for the candidate they really want without worrying about spoiling or splitting the vote and letting an unpopular mainstream candidate to win. I think we dramatically need this.
 

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Get rid of it.

One person, one vote.
 

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I like ranked choice voting. Eliminates the need to choose between voting for your preferred candidate and voting for the lesser of the two evils. It also prevents scenarios which occur semi-rarely, especially in primaries, where a candidate who would lose to each other candidate individually can garner the plurality of the vote. I believe that candidates winning in such scenarios is a bad outcome.
 

HonestJoe

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Get rid of it.

One person, one vote.
It still is, it’s just that your one vote is an order of preference. It makes perfect sense when you have more than two candidates.
 

RabidAlpaca

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Get rid of it.

One person, one vote.

Thank you for proving you have absolutely no idea what ranked choice voting is.

Please do not ever complain about the unbreakable monopoly the GOP and Dems have on American power. With people like you that only look at issues superficially before ****ting on them we'll never improve.
 

Perotista

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This midterm election was the first in which the state of Maine held ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting or alternative voting). This is the result of question 5, a ballot measure which introduced this method of voting for governor, state legislators, and congressmen.


Maine's senate and gubernational elections both saw one candidate win a majority in the first round so the system didn't go into effect.

The house elections were a bit more interesting. The state has two districts and the first saw one candidate win by a majority. In the second district, the incumbent republican Bruce Poliquin won the initial round with 46.4% of the vote. But once the two independent candidates were eliminated, the democrat Jared Golden won a bare majority with 50.53% of the vote.

In the state legislature, the republicans made gains in both chambers and gained a majority in the house (the democrats currently hold a majority in both chambers).There are a few independents in the house but this was true before question 5 passed.

The state of Maine typically leans democrat and the state already has a few independents. It would be really interesting to see RTV at work in a swing state.

For this to work, we would need a viable third and possible a fourth political parties. When this went to the second round, over 8,000 voters were disenfranchised. Their votes were thrown into the trash. It is as if they never voted. Why, they only wanted one candidate to win. They didn't want two or three candidates to win if the one they chose wasn't the winner.

There are folks who really dislike both major parties as those parties have a monopoly on our two party system. These folks vote third party against both major party candidates. Rank voting is just another shennanigan, scheme to ensure the two major parties maintain their monopoly.

How dare you not vote for one of the two major party candidates. If you do, by ranked voting we'll just trash your vote. We won't count them. Next time you better vote as we tell you, if not, we'll trash you vote again. Just stay home if you don't want one of the two major party candidates to win. Don't you dare cast a vote against them. We'll fix you. Maine did just that to over 8,000 voters in round two. Only because they didn't want either of the two major party candidates to win.

It's like being told, you are stupid voters, you don't know how or whom to vote for. We'll teach you, we just won't count your stupid vote. Get lost, stay away from the polls unless you vote for whom we want you to vote for.
 

Perotista

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Ranked choice voting is objectively more democratic and makes third party and independent candidates more viable. It largely eliminates the "lesser of two evils" voting strategy that is the worst cancer of American politics. With it Americans can vote for the candidate they really want without worrying about spoiling or splitting the vote and letting an unpopular mainstream candidate to win. I think we dramatically need this.

It does just the opposite. It makes independents and third party candidates less viable. It ensures the winner will be one of the two major party candidates. It also trashes anyone's vote who didn't want either of the two major party candidates to win and hence didn't make them their second or third choice. What ranked voting did was disenfranchise some 8,000 voters in round two, it trashed their votes. Votes against both major party candidates were no longer counted. Stupid voters ought to know better than to vote for someone who isn't an R or a D.

This shenanigan of ranked voting is just a way of teaching those who vote against both major parties a lesson. The lesson, either vote R or D or we'll just throw your vote in the waste basket and not count it.
 

HonestJoe

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For this to work, we would need a viable third and possible a fourth political parties. When this went to the second round, over 8,000 voters were disenfranchised. Their votes were thrown into the trash. It is as if they never voted. Why, they only wanted one candidate to win. They didn't want two or three candidates to win if the one they chose wasn't the winner.
Rubbish. They’re no more disenfranchised that anyone who doesn’t vote for the winner in First Past The Post voting. With ranked voting, every voter has exactly the same opportunity to rank as many or as few candidates as they want to and the winner in the one who gains most overall support.

How dare you not vote for one of the two major party candidates. If you do, by ranked voting we'll just trash your vote. We won't count them. Next time you better vote as we tell you, if not, we'll trash you vote again. Just stay home if you don't want one of the two major party candidates to win. Don't you dare cast a vote against them. We'll fix you. Maine did just that to over 8,000 voters in round two. Only because they didn't want either of the two major party candidates to win.
Exactly the opposite. Ranked voting allows people to choose an independent or third party candidate as their first choice but still express a preference between the leading candidates. The third candidate won’t necessarily win first time around but the number of first choices they receive will give a more realistic image of the established support and thus a stronger basis for fighting future elections. It also means that if they successfully split the mainstream vote, the have a chance of winning on the basis of being the least worst choice of the loosing candidate, thus encouraging more moderate candidates over partisan extremists.

It's like being told, you are stupid voters, you don't know how or whom to vote for. We'll teach you, we just won't count your stupid vote. Get lost, stay away from the polls unless you vote for whom we want you to vote for.
Actually, one of the most common arguments against this kind of system is that voters aren’t smart enough to work it out, which is kind of what you’re saying too. Voters do need to think about their vote more carefully under this system and not just blindly go for whoever is standing for the “right” party but I can only see that push as a positive thing for democracy.
 

Tom Horn

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What I care about Maine: keep the gas pipeline and railroads open and in good repair. Expand your lumber industry. Reform your fisheries. Expell your utilities commissions, ( execute them for all I care ). And the best of luck to your attempts at keeping warm.
 

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I like it. When no candidate can get over 50% of the vote it provides for an instant run off. Eliminating least preferred candidates until someone wins a majority.
The courts may find it unconstitutional. In Maine the Democrat won over a Republican who had more votes on the first ballot but not a majority.
 

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It does just the opposite. It makes independents and third party candidates less viable. It ensures the winner will be one of the two major party candidates. It also trashes anyone's vote who didn't want either of the two major party candidates to win and hence didn't make them their second or third choice. What ranked voting did was disenfranchise some 8,000 voters in round two, it trashed their votes. Votes against both major party candidates were no longer counted. Stupid voters ought to know better than to vote for someone who isn't an R or a D.

This shenanigan of ranked voting is just a way of teaching those who vote against both major parties a lesson. The lesson, either vote R or D or we'll just throw your vote in the waste basket and not count it.

It certainly doesn’t make third parties and independents less viable. It gives voters who prefer those candidates every reason to rank them number one when under a regular system they’d be pressured to vote Republican or Democratic to prevent the one they like least winning. Under Ranked Choice voting you get more people voting for third parties.

What it did in Maine’s 2nd was give 23,000 voters a reason to show their preference for third parties when they’d otherwise be pressured to vote only for one of the main two.
 
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Excon

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It still is, it’s just that your one vote is an order of preference. It makes perfect sense when you have more than two candidates.
No, it actually is not.
It is allowing the vote cast by one individual to have multiple choices and effect.

It should only be one vote for the position by the a person voting. Ranked choice needs to get the boot.

Perfect sense? That is hilarious. If you intend to deny the person receiving the most votes from taking office, sure that makes sense.





Thank you for proving you have absolutely no idea what ranked choice voting is.
Thank you for providing an example as to why the negativity is so high these days. You could have chosen any number of other responses than the negative one you chose to go with. But as everyone can see, you chose to go with personal negativity from the get. Sad. It is also hilarious in that you are wrong.
So you get in return that which you give. Thank you for proving, that as usual, you have no idea what you are talking about.


Please do not ever complain about the unbreakable monopoly the GOP and Dems have on American power. With people like you that only look at issues superficially before ****ting on them we'll never improve.
Unbreakable monopoly? :lamo
Sounds like a whambulance is in order.
 

RabidAlpaca

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It does just the opposite. It makes independents and third party candidates less viable. It ensures the winner will be one of the two major party candidates. It also trashes anyone's vote who didn't want either of the two major party candidates to win and hence didn't make them their second or third choice. What ranked voting did was disenfranchise some 8,000 voters in round two, it trashed their votes. Votes against both major party candidates were no longer counted. Stupid voters ought to know better than to vote for someone who isn't an R or a D.

This shenanigan of ranked voting is just a way of teaching those who vote against both major parties a lesson. The lesson, either vote R or D or we'll just throw your vote in the waste basket and not count it.

This makes absolutely no sense. People who vote for third party candidates already have their votes thrown in the trash, every single election for the entire history of this country. Americans have convinced themselves that they shouldn't vote for the candidate that best represents their values, they should vote for the mainstream candidate they hate the least. The two parties in power have a death grip on our government and no matter how low their approval slips, they still get near 100% of the vote. That is total bull**** and apparently something you support.

Thank you for providing an example as to why the negativity is so high these days. You could have chosen any number of other responses than the negative one you chose to go with. But as everyone can see, you chose to go with personal negativity from the get. Sad. It is also hilarious in that you are wrong.
So you get in return that which you give. Thank you for proving, that as usual, you have no idea what you are talking about.
Unbreakable monopoly? :lamo
Sounds like a whambulance is in order.

Our political system is specifically designed to be two and only two parties and to shut out all of the others. You don't have any actual arguments against ranked choice voting, you just make up some dumbass strawman of "one person, one vote", which is still what ranked choice voting is.

Also, you're one of the least civil posters on this forum, so spare me the indignation, kid.
 

HonestJoe

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No, it actually is not.
It is allowing the vote cast by one individual to have multiple choices and effect.
It’s still one vote – you even said “the vote cast” yourself :) . You’ve not explained why you believe it’s fundamentally bad and wrong for a vote to involve more than a simple binary option anyway.

Perfect sense? That is hilarious. If you intend to deny the person receiving the most votes from taking office, sure that makes sense.
Isn’t that debatable if one candidate gets more votes than any other individually but fewer votes than the total who voted against them? Should winning only a third or quarter of the votes cast be sufficient for a win? I’m not saying this is a definitive answer but I am saying the question is perfectly valid.
 

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It’s still one vote – you even said “the vote cast” yourself :) . You’ve not explained why you believe it’s fundamentally bad and wrong for a vote to involve more than a simple binary option anyway.
No. InInstant-runoff voting, this person, if not, then this person, is multiple votes being cast.


Isn’t that debatable if one candidate gets more votes than any other individually but fewer votes than the total who voted against them? Should winning only a third or quarter of the votes cast be sufficient for a win? I’m not saying this is a definitive answer but I am saying the question is perfectly valid.
In state and local elections the person receiving the most votes is acceptable. Always has been. Only those dissatisfied what to change it.
 

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Our political system is specifically designed to be two and only two parties and to shut out all of the others.
And yet third parties run all the time. Go figure. So no.


You don't have any actual arguments against ranked choice voting, you just make up some dumbass strawman of "one person, one vote", which is still what ranked choice voting is.
That you do not recognize the significance of what I said does not mean it is "some dumbass strawman". It just shows you are trapped in your own thoughts.


Also, you're one of the least civil posters on this forum, so spare me the indignation, kid.
Everyone gets their chance.
Once the incivility has been directed at me, yes, I too will then be uncivil to the person. So spare you? No. Take ownership of the bs you start.
 

HonestJoe

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No. InInstant-runoff voting, this person, if not, then this person, is multiple votes being cast.
We’ll have to differ on that matter of terminology. You’ve still not explains what’s actually wrong with that process though.

In state and local elections the person receiving the most votes is acceptable. Always has been. Only those dissatisfied what to change it.
Yes, because it continues to feed the corrupt two-party state that exists in the US at the moment. I would be dissatisfied if I lived somewhere that made it almost impossible for anyone to reach political office without being backed by one of two political parties. You might as well scrap having candidates at all, just make every election a simple “R” or “D”.
 

Perotista

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Rubbish. They’re no more disenfranchised that anyone who doesn’t vote for the winner in First Past The Post voting. With ranked voting, every voter has exactly the same opportunity to rank as many or as few candidates as they want to and the winner in the one who gains most overall support.

Exactly the opposite. Ranked voting allows people to choose an independent or third party candidate as their first choice but still express a preference between the leading candidates. The third candidate won’t necessarily win first time around but the number of first choices they receive will give a more realistic image of the established support and thus a stronger basis for fighting future elections. It also means that if they successfully split the mainstream vote, the have a chance of winning on the basis of being the least worst choice of the loosing candidate, thus encouraging more moderate candidates over partisan extremists.

Actually, one of the most common arguments against this kind of system is that voters aren’t smart enough to work it out, which is kind of what you’re saying too. Voters do need to think about their vote more carefully under this system and not just blindly go for whoever is standing for the “right” party but I can only see that push as a positive thing for democracy.

With a two party system we have, Republicans and Democrats have a monopoly. If one wants to vote against both major party candidates, under ranked voting eventually they can't or their vote gets trashed. If we have four viable parties, ranked voting might make sense. In 2016 there is no way I was going to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Third party candidates gave me an opportunity to express my disdain for both. Under ranked voting, I would be forced to vote for one or the other or have my vote nullified and tossed into the waste can.

You seem under the impression that everyone who votes third party wants one or the other major party candidate to win eventually. What about us who want both to lose? If you're going to have ranked voting, then those without a second or third choice, their votes still should be counted instead of thrown away. Like it or not, you just disenfranchised those voters in the second round. We might as well just stay home, why go to the poll knowing sooner or later you vote will no longer be counted. Just because you didn't want either major party candidate.

That is plain stupid. Either count all votes or count none. In Maine 8,000 voters just saw their votes trashed, thrown away because they didn't like either major party candidate. You might as well put up a big sign that states only votes for the major party candidates will be counted.
 

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It certainly doesn’t make third parties and independents less viable. It gives voters who prefer those candidates every reason to rank them number one when under a regular system they’d be pressured to vote Republican or Democratic to prevent the one they like least winning. Under Ranked Choice voting you get more people voting for third parties.

What it did in Maine’s 2nd was give 23,000 voters a reason to show their preference for third parties when they’d otherwise be pressured to vote only for one of the main two.

It all boils down to having to vote for one of the major party's candidate or have your vote trashed. It's like saying it's okay to vote against both major party candidates, but if you don't want to be disenfranchised, you will have to, we'll make it mandatory for you to vote for one or the other major party candidate. You have no choice in the matter. Either vote major party candidate or we'll trash your vote. Just another shenanigan to ensure voters only vote major party in the end.
 

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This makes absolutely no sense. People who vote for third party candidates already have their votes thrown in the trash, every single election for the entire history of this country. Americans have convinced themselves that they shouldn't vote for the candidate that best represents their values, they should vote for the mainstream candidate they hate the least. The two parties in power have a death grip on our government and no matter how low their approval slips, they still get near 100% of the vote. That is total bull**** and apparently something you support.



Our political system is specifically designed to be two and only two parties and to shut out all of the others. You don't have any actual arguments against ranked choice voting, you just make up some dumbass strawman of "one person, one vote", which is still what ranked choice voting is.

Also, you're one of the least civil posters on this forum, so spare me the indignation, kid.

So what you're saying is that 8 million of us who voted against both Trump and Clinton in 2016, should just stay home and not show our disdain for both major party candidates. I have a better idea than ranked voting. Have None of the Above on the ballot. If none of above wins, then the major parties must nominate two new candidates and have another election.
 

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It all boils down to having to vote for one of the major party's candidate or have your vote trashed. It's like saying it's okay to vote against both major party candidates, but if you don't want to be disenfranchised, you will have to, we'll make it mandatory for you to vote for one or the other major party candidate. You have no choice in the matter. Either vote major party candidate or we'll trash your vote. Just another shenanigan to ensure voters only vote major party in the end.

That doesn't really make any sense. You don't have to vote for a major party candidate at all if you don't want to. But with this system if you want to vote for a third party candidate but still vote against a major party in the event your third party candidate can't win, then you can.

It's the method that every other state uses that trashes third party votes. We have no idea in most states how many people's first choice was really a non-major candidate, but who felt like they had to pick the lesser of two evils. In Maine, we actually know how many people supported those independents because they could rank them first.

It is so, ridiculously better for non-major party candidates than a simple first past the post system. Why do you think Libertarians, Greens, and Independents overwhelmingly campaigned in Maine for the opportunity to use ranked choice voting?
 

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So what you're saying is that 8 million of us who voted against both Trump and Clinton in 2016, should just stay home and not show our disdain for both major party candidates. I have a better idea than ranked voting. Have None of the Above on the ballot. If none of above wins, then the major parties must nominate two new candidates and have another election.

Your votes would still be counted. We know 23,000 Maine voters prefered independents in Maine's 2nd Congressional district. Their voices were heard. They probably wouldn't have been under first past the post as many would be pressured into only showing their support for Poliquin or Golden.
 

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As an abstraction, I'm okay with ranked choice voting (RCV) models, although I'm not keen philosophically on the applied GCD/LCD nature of such systems, but then I prefer geniocracies so that may not bother other folks.

The benefits are obvious:
  • Potentially obviates the need for primaries because of its increased efficiency and lowering costs (compared to a primary system)
  • Reduction or elimination of "strategic" voting.
  • Promotes majority support
  • Discourages negative campaigning
  • Saves money compared to running primary elections
  • Provides an outcome more reflective of the majority of voters than either primaries or run-off elections
Pragmatically, however, I think RCV would, by most Americans, be found dubitable, something more problematic than is having a subpar voting methodology. To wit, consider the instructions found on the Ranked Choice Resource Center's website (RCVW).
Here are some important points about correctly marking a ranked choice voting ballot:

  • [*=1]Make only one choice per column.
    [*=1]Do not skip columns.
    [*=1]You may rank as few candidates as you would like.
    [*=1]You may rank as many candidates as are allowed.

Such instructions, though essential, allude to several demerits of RCV:
  • Respondent annoyance --> If the list is long, ranking every item can be tedious, and the preference variance after the first few is likely trivial. Imagine having to rank order 16 candidates!! After the first 5 or so, many folks may just choose arbitrarily to get "fill all the bubbles" when really they should just stop at #5 if that's the last person about whom they have any will/comfort with the candidate being elected.
  • Respondent error --> Think about the butterfly ballot. No matter how clear the instructions, some people can't follow them. Ballot instructions are, for notable quantities of folks, like flight safety instructions: "no one" minds them. Too, there are the prats and sods who will vote for two 1st choices or no 1st choices, or some other dumbass variation -- maybe to show they don’t really like any candidate. Such ballots would be declared invalid for that office's election. Even voting for the same candidate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices would invalidate the ballot.

    Just think of the folks who errantly and heterodoxically "everything" been "democratized." Any or all of them who reject standard linguistic meanings, procedures for doing XYZ, or who Well, fine, you can do it your way, and nobody's going to stop you, but your vote won't count unless you do it as per the directions.
  • Transparency --> Transparency is important; if an electorate can’t comprehend how a runner won, faith in the democratic process is undermined. A simple three-candidates race makes RCV seem easy to understand and transparent, but when there are many candidates, not so much, at least I wouldn't think it'd be to folks befuddled by the differences among nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio data measurement/types, which is most folks who didn't take and master statistics. (If you've met folks who make invalid inferences from data, they didn't master high school statistics.)

    The RCV model iteratively eliminates the candidate with the fewest votes. So, in a field of, say, 10 candidates where none gets a majority in round 1, 2nd place votes cast by voters for the runner with the fewest 1st place votes are allotted to the remaining candidates. The process repeats until a candidate gets a 50% majority.

    The interactions can alter the order of candidates with each allotment of 2nd place votes.
    The total count of votes will go down because not all voters will have made 2nd place selections, meaning the 50% majority threshold likely will drop with each round.
  • Conceptual Failing --> We know the voters’ order of candidate preference, but we don’t know the relative preference. To know relative preference a consistent unit of measurement – think of a ruler – must be used to measure the difference in voters’ preference for each candidate (did you click on the data types link and read the content there? -- I encountered a member recently whose remarks made clear s/he doesn't understand data/outcome measurement) This is precisely the LCD/GCD aspect I noted at the outset.
  • May impel parties to field foils. One need only recall Kennedy's 1946 campaign to know what I mean.
 
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