Whom we supported
The Chamberlain Project Foundation is the 501c3 affiliate of the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, the principal supporter of the successful 2016 Ranked Choice Voting referendum in Maine, and the organizer of the subsequent people’s veto petition and campaign which restored ranked choice in June 2018.
The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting is led by former Maine elected officials from both parties and other Maine civic leaders.
Why we contributed
Stanford University democracy scholar Larry Diamond has called the campaign for ranked choice voting in Maine “ground zero for election reform in the United States”. We agree. Ranked choice voting gives voters more choice, leads to results that better reflect the will of the majority, reduces the returns to negative campaigning, and promotes collaborative approaches and people. Ranked choice had to date been used only in US cities, so the move to a state-wide implementation in Maine was a critical next step.
Ranked choice will help fix what has been a real problem in Maine – divisive “spoiler effect” elections with unrepresentative plurality winners. The political dynamics behind these issues — increasingly crowded primaries and a growing block of independent voters — are emerging in many other states, which is why we will continue to support campaigns for ranked choice voting elsewhere. In Maine, the initial bi-partisan support for ranked choice gave way to a more polarized debate, but we believe that ranked choice is reform that can equally benefit both leading political parties and also independents and third parties.
How you can get involved
A good site for more detailed information on how ranked choice voting works, where it is used, and what evaluations of the system have found is www.fairvote.org. For background on the development of Ranked Choice Voting in Maine, The Portland Herald and The Bangor Daily News have good coverage and relevant archived articles.
Please consider supporting ranked choice in Maine, either by contributing directly to the People’s Veto campaign, through the Committee for Ranked Choice, or by supporting the voter education activities of the Committee for Ranked Choice, the Maine League of Women Voters, or Maine Citizens for Clean Elections.