Maine Ranked-Voting System Used for First Time in Primary: A Look at the Process

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Meta777, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Today Maine voters are pioneering the nation's first state-wide usage of a Ranked voting system! As voters in Maine head to the polls today for their primary elections, they will be among the country's first voters to have the opportunity of ranking their candidates in order of preference (as opposed to only being allowed to pick one). This will allow Maine voters a greater voice as to who gets to be their party's nominee for the general.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...or-first-time-in-primary-look-at-process.html
    https://www.npr.org/2018/06/10/6179...er-theyll-rank-candidates-in-future-elections
    http://www.rcvmaine.com/how_does_ranked_choice_voting_work

    [​IMG]

    Note however that for the moment, this is only for the state's two primary elections, but depending on how things go, this could simply be the beginning of something much more widespread. If the voters come away with a favorable view of Ranked voting, this method of voting or similar ones could soon expand to Maine's general elections, and beyond!

    The specific method that will be used to tally the results in Maine is what's known as Instant Runoff. A system in which voters rank their choices by preference, votes for voters' 1st choices are totaled up, and then candidates with the lowest number of 1st votes are eliminated as whoever voted for them as their 1st choice have their votes moved over to their 2nd choices, and then 3rd etc. until one candidate eventually receives a majority of all the votes.

    If anyone is interested in trying out the process for themselves to gain a better understanding of how it all works out, I have coincidentally set up a series of Ranked votes for just that purpose. Two are going on right now and anyone and everyone is welcome to join in and cast a vote:
    Ranked Vote: How To Reform Redistricting And End Political Gerrymandering?
    Ranked Vote: What To Do About The Long-Term Implications of Automation?
    Ranked Vote: What To Do To Reduce Partisan Dysfunction In Politics?



    Results for these votes are posted regularly, usually late on a Friday, and typically contain a bit of analysis for how everything breaks down. Methods used to tally the votes include Plurality (the regular old "winner take all" method), the superior Instant Runoff method (the one getting used by Maine voters today), and the somewhat complicated but otherwise even more superior Ranked Pairs method.

    For the full list of both past and future votes, or to be notified when new votes are set up, check out these two threads:
    Ranked Vote: Discussion Thread (Includes Full List)
    Ranked Vote: Contact List


    Who knows, you may find after trying it out for yourself that you want your own state to follow in Maine's footsteps.
    Anyways, let me know what you think about Ranked voting, and let's all keep an eye out for how things turn out in Maine's primaries.

    -Meta
     
  2. MissingMayor

    MissingMayor Well-Known Member

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    There was a great article in the NY Times on it.
     
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  3. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    Do you mean this one?
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/10/opinion/electoral-system-maine.html

    "A great deal turns on Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine. For the first time in America, ranked-choice voting — a system likely to reduce political polarization — will be used to choose candidates for governor and Congress. And the system itself, approved by Maine voters in 2016, will also be on the ballot, as a referendum. If voters rescind it, Maine will return to the prevailing system in this country — one that often elects leaders who lack majority support, and turns off many citizens."
     
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  4. MissingMayor

    MissingMayor Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I would love nothing more than to see this get implemented. If nothing more than to get rid of the "You are throwing your vote away if you vote for X" line.
     
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  5. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    I believe that this will fail it's first test in court. The one person one vote concept is violated by the use of this technique. It allows folks to literally be asked to vote for all potential candidates allowing for someone who obtains more non votes to be elected because of the rankings.
     
  6. Derideo_Te

    Derideo_Te Well-Known Member

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    Elections can be decided by the toss of a coin here in America.

    Run offs are held on a regular basis in many states where no candidate achieved a majority which is effectively the same thing as just counting voter's second choices.

    So with those precedents what basis would the SCOTUS have for arbitrarily declaring that a voter is only allowed to vote for a single candidate as long as they RANK THEIR CHOICES when it comes to multiple candidates?
     
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  7. MissingMayor

    MissingMayor Well-Known Member

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    That doctrine is based on the equal protection clause. The words "one person one vote" aren't written into law, so there is no way they could get a literal interpretation.
     
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  8. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    So many things here, but the one to respond to is this idea that somehow SCOTUS would do anything arbitrarily. That seems remarkably spurious, and frankly unsupportable. When folks "rank their choices", they are effectively producing more than one vote for on office. We don't, haven't, and my opinion should not make this a practice.
     
  9. drluggit

    drluggit Well-Known Member

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    SCOTUS have made rulings here, three I could find immediately. Wood, Green, and Sims.
     
  10. RP12

    RP12 Well-Known Member

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    In the end only one vote counts
     
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  11. RP12

    RP12 Well-Known Member

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    I Do like this you can vote for your preferred choice first and then vote for the "lesser evil" candidate as well.. Would actually show a true indicator of the voting populaces thoughts on more independent or as the media says "fringe" candidates.
     
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  12. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    So some people get to vote twice if there is no majority winner. How is that equal protection? This is STILL way up in the air in the courts and the courts punted on this particular election.

    Why is the left so intent on mucking up the manner in which elections are held? Simply because they have been losing so much recently?
     
  13. RP12

    RP12 Well-Known Member

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    In the end only one of your votes counts.
     
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  14. Cubed

    Cubed Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    With your general two party system, you might have an easier time with this, but in a multi party system like mine, it would ensure constant defeats of the minority conservative party as most would pick the 2 left wing parties first before the third conservative party. I personally prefer FPTP
     
  15. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    But not during the process.
     
  16. RP12

    RP12 Well-Known Member

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    The end count matters not the process
     
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  17. Meta777

    Meta777 Moderator Staff Member

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    It's not just the left. People from both the left and the right agree that our current political system is itself, mucked up. From flawed campaign finance laws to the constant vilification and mudslinging, it isn't hard to find people from either side who'll tell you that the current state of politics is a hot mess. This is also reflected in the congressional approval rating, a "whopping" 13% last time I checked. But what else would you expect really when congress can't seem to do much more than bicker with one another while failing to get much of anything important done? As a matter of fact, political forum members themselves recently rated Partisan Dysfunction in Congress as one of the top three issues facing the country today, right behind Immigration and Back-room Dealing.
    http://www.politicalforum.com/index...ssues-most-needing-to-be-addressed-us.533587/

    Basically, the politicians have gotten too far apart from each-other over time. This is why they can't agree on anything. Both sides have become too extreme. We can fix this by replacing Plurality election methods with Ranked systems at all levels of government, which would see a higher number of moderates elected to office while forcing more extreme politicians to try to be a little less extreme if they want to stay, and generally shifting the political environment towards fostering less hostility and being one more of compromise.

    And we should fix it. Because again, both people from the left and the right are fed up up with the way things have been going. Though its actually inaccurate to just call them people from the left and the right. The whole left-right designation is sort of an artificial dichotomy. In reality, it is people in the middle who are the most fed up out of all! People in the middle who are fed up with the fringe extremists from either side. People in the middle who are pushing to fix this clearly flawed system, with some support from the more moderate members of the true left and right (and even support from a few more marginal folk). In other words, agreement as to the flaws of the current system is widespread across the political spectrum. And I believe that as more people come to learn about alternatives such as Ranked Voting, it'll then only be a matter of time before we begin to see an even bigger push for such long overdue systemic remedies.

    -Meta
     
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  18. cd8ed

    cd8ed Well-Known Member

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    This isn’t a left vs right issue, it allows you to vote for the candidate you want while simultaneously allowing your vote to count. This will give greater power to lesser known candidates which is why hardliners on both sides hate it. Gone will be the days where you are stuck with the vote between right wing evil and left wing evil.

    How anyone can be against this system is unbelievable.
     
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  19. Bluesguy

    Bluesguy Well-Known Member Donor

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    Well yes it is a left vs right issue because I only see the left whining about how we vote and wanting to change the system because they can't seem to win.

    And don't particularly know where I stand on it just noting it is not settled in court and there are legal and constitutional arguments to made against it and how the courts might ultimate decide on it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  20. cd8ed

    cd8ed Well-Known Member

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    Yeh that’s all this is, **** the country as long as your team is winning.

    Moderates are stuck between two parties that do not represent them. Why are you against giving voters a better say of where their votes go, especially if you believe your party will win regardless? What are you scared of?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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