Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: When a plan comes together

Political irony is on full display in Maine. The staple of many a politician, hypocrisy has now been foisted upon the voting process. Ranked Choice Voting, toddling mere months into it's infancy, was found unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court for use in State elections, has now mired the state into the muck of necessary legal challenges into its Federal constitutionality, and media punditry has circled the wagons around their collective talking point that challenging RCV at the Federal level erodes the peoples' confidence in the “institution” of voting, seemingly oblivious to the millions of dollars, and years of political spin, spent on ads, campaign mailings, and signature drives, all in a effort to erode the voters' confidence in Maine's already constitutionally established voting system.

Here, the time proven political ploy of accusing your opponent of the very thing to which you are guilty is so stark it cannot be veiled. Could it be that the so-called “erosion” of voter confidence is not the result of inevitable legal challenges by a candidate, but a collective “aha” moment as Maine voters began to pull the propaganda veil away to reveal yet another political con game?

Ranked Choice Voting was passed by peoples' referendum, a process which has been criticized roundly from all sides of the political spectrum. Because the process does not require signatures to be gathered proportionally by each county, the process becomes a people's referendum of the most populated areas not the whole of Maine. Why plod along the byways and dusty ways of Piscataquis County, when you can gather all the signatures you need in Portland?

It stands to reason, at it's inception, from the Referendum process on, Ranked Choice Voting was the will of the voters in the 1st Congressional District. The 2nd Congressional District would not have been fertile ground for signature gathering towards an perceived anti-LePage referendum. It was the 2nd District whose votes swung LePage over the top to victory, and that was reflected when CD2 voted down the referendum by 20,000 votes.

Still, CD1 votes won the day. RCV was immediately challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional. The ruling could only apply to the state constitution; therefore, state elections remained one vote for one person, while Federal elections remained in limbo until they could be challenged at the Federal level.

It was no surprise that the only Congressional District that RCV would effect would be CD2. CD1 would not, and for that matter, will never face an RCV challenge, as it is rumored that Cumberland County is a gated county that requires proof of registration with the Democrat Party before residency. It should be noted that this writer has yet to confirm the veracity of said rumor.

Sarcasm and cynicism aside, at every step in its brief infantile history, Ranked Choice has been the majority wish of one political demographic, CD1. Unfortunately, CD2 is bearing the repercussions of that wish. Ironically, without legal intervention, CD1 now enjoys two Representatives for the will of its voters and CD2 has none.

Andy Torbett
Atkinson, ME

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27 Responses »

  1. If all else fails resort to to the cheapest ploy if all: "look at what those elitest liberals in Portland are doing to you. They foisted RCV on you to screw you."
    Getting out the vote in case their is a new election?

  2. If Eric Brakey hadn't been such a poor candidate and run such an awful campaign, the Senate might also have gone to a RCV count to determine the winner. But Ringelstein's ads closed with " vote Zac 1 and Angus 2". Those progressive voters throughout the would have easily given King the majority of the votes.

  3. Excellent Article Andy.

    Nothing new here.
    2 Maines.

    Here is the thing..
    I'll stay UP here.
    Fat, Dumb and Happy.

  4. We teach our little kids not to throw temper tantrums when they lose the games. You learn the rules, play by the rules, and accept the results with a degree of class. And if it doesn't work out, you try harder next time. The rules had been accepted, Andy, and affirmed by the courts twice.

    We have to accept Trump, even though he really lost --- the rules of the game, all those cornfield states had the electoral votes to allow his loss to turn into a win. Recall, before the election, before Comey's ill timed announcement, when Trump was expected to lose, he started ranting about the election being rigged, and he would sue..... but the rules said he won, so here we are.

    Now Bruce Poliquin, who never lived in CD 2, but skirted the rules because his wealth allowed him to purchase an address proved to be such a poor representative, and poor candidate, that he defied the odds and could not win 50% of the vote as an incumbent. And according to the rules -- RCV was applied and he lost.

    And, for over a month now --- the infantile temper tantrum. Which Andy has subscribed to. Be gracious and accept the will of the people. Al Gore did.

  5. RCV puts more weight on how our most populous towns and cities tend to vote. this is why liberals love it so much and why they, as of late, hate the Electoral College. RCV does not satisfy the will of the entire people as the Electoral College does, it satisfies the will of the most populous cities in the state. once 2nd and 3rd round votes of L/A, Bangor, and Presque Isle rolled in, Golden easily won. It will be tough for any republican to win under this system.

  6. One person, two votes. For some. You got a problem with that?

  7. Andy:

    If you’re willing to chop up Maine’s referendum process by affected Congressional District, then perhaps you’d be similarly in favor of expanding Maine’s electoral college allocation process nationwide. I’d personally be willing to sacrifice CD2 majority rule for national majority rule. Let’s see what happens when U.S. governance is based more on people than land.

    That said, RCV was endorsed twice by a majority of Maine voters, affirmed as to CD2 by the Maine Supreme Court, and elected Golden by a majority of CD2 voters. To now cry foul about all those voting people “from away” in the rest of Maine doesn't make you a constitutionalist. It makes you parochial.

  8. Nice lecture Chief ..
    You said,
    "We teach our little kids not to throw temper tantrums when they lose the games. You learn the rules, play by the rules, and accept the results with a degree of class. ".

    So, where exactly would we go to find a good example of this "degree of class" you mentioned??
    The Clinton's? Hahaha!!
    How about the ever classy Schumer or Pelosi? LOL!!
    Can't find the class in "your" comment either "We have to accept Trump, even though he really lost".. Oh Ya,, no temper tantrum there on your part I supposed?? How classy u r! HAHA!!!
    How about the "Not My President ,, on our way to Canada" crowd? Accepted the results,, and with class,,,right??
    Oh, newsflash, Al Gore didn't just accept and go away either (there were way too many hanging chads

    You're a leftie trying to rub something in.(own it).
    Credibility score ... Very low.
    But thanks for sharing your humorous thoughts....

  9. Only CD1 Democrats could come up with such a convoluted voting process.
    In 1820, the good people of Maine told their Massachusetts masters they would have no more of their nonsense.
    It's time to draw some new lines to distance those good North Maine people from their Massachusetts masters again.

  10. Hey Cred, check what the good Republicans are doing ask we speak in Wisconsin, Michigan, and gasp, North Carolina. But hey, you want to rant about the Clintons. Remind me, please, what did Clinton get impeached for? Compare that to the daily whoppers from the Oval Tweeter Office. Let's examine just how well the swamp got drained. How many of the good conservatives have gone through the revolving door in the administration because of their blatant dishonesty. See how what was "lock her up" for Clinton is fine and OK for Ivanka.

    Look at the blatant voter suppression invoked by Republicans around the country. And then there is Citizens United -- the bellweather of Scalia's reign. You know the corporations are people one -- which OK's the money to spout lies unendingly on tv --- and allows the folks behind it to hide their identities.

    And yes, Gore did "go away" with dignity. The chads were the result of the Supreme Court's investigation into the forever corrupt Secretary of State's work in Florida. Remember Katherine Harris? The poster gal for corruption. Look her history up.

    And we haven't even begun on all LePage has said and done. Do Maine people yet have the Medicare expansion approved by voters a few years ago? How come? Yeah the right wing has been a real champion of democracy.

    Don't confuse them with the facts -- their minds are already made up.

  11. hold the phone
    Golden won majority in Bangor and L/A without going to RCV
    He won Presgue Isle by 12 votes with RCV. Hardly a landslide o ly because of RCV.
    Get your "facts" straight.

  12. Poliquin didn't lose because of RCV. He lost because he was a terrible member of Congress who hid from his constituents. He lost because he acted childish in forums. He lost because he was unpopular. He lost because he didn't do the kind of work on the ground, door to door, that Golden did. He lost because he spent most of his time in Maine at his place in Georgetown. I'm sure that he would have lost under the previous election method, because the people who felt safe voting for independents would have re-focused in an effort to get Poliquin out of there. He keeps losing by suing to stop a voting system that voters approved twice, a system that he once said was fine with him, because the voters approved.

    And Republicans who keep ignoring the wishes of Mainers, and keep fighting everything Maine voters approve, will find that's not the best strategy.

  13. Awww Chief did the mean old Republican take your benefits ? Clinton was
    Impeached for getting sexual favors from his intern then his crooked wife started the attack on women that still happens today. The democrats have been looking for collusion with Russia for two years and they have nothing solid to go on. What they have found is small stuff compared to what happened the last eight years under O,Hillary, and Holder just to name a few corrupt people. Lets not forget sztrok (not sure of spelling) and his little train of covering up behind the dems fixing an election Hillary couldn’t win. Have a nice day being so bitter and pointing out one sided corruption when it is on both sides !!!!

  14. Awww, what about Stormy Daniels? What about the Billy Bush interview? The last 8 years? Pikers compared to the last two, or are you not paying attention..... Heard anything about the Trump tower in Moscow, or how it was arranged? Hey, are you enjoying that tax cut yet? You know the one that blew up the deficit the mean old republicans are always whining about, yeah that 1.5 Trillion dollar bonus to the already rich. Check out how GM used its tax break --- bought back their stock and now cut 15,000 jobs. Keep defending the absurd.

    And, by the way, never had any benefits. Worked from age 14 on. Never took a "benefit" --- only EARNED benefits promised by labor contracts, state and federal rules. You know, the stuff you pay for, like Social Security.

  15. I have to say someone here, not mentioning any names but his initials are- chief Jay Strongbow- needs to really look at the facts of the world we live in and maybe find a hug somewhere. We all need to find a way to disagree without being so angry. It's really not helpful.

  16. Hildreth Tom, how many 2nd round votes did each candidate get from the 4 large cities in CD2?

  17. HTP

    Don't know. I just had the initial results. Assumed in P.I. that Golden got all the 2nd and 3rd votes from the I's. If he didn't get them all Pelican probably won P.I.But I am sure you will still that RCV stole the vote and Pelican lost. Actually he lost because 3500 voters didn't want him as their rep.

  18. "And, by the way, never had any benefits. Worked from age 14 on. Never took a "benefit" --- only EARNED benefits promised by labor contracts, state and federal rules. You know, the stuff you pay for, like Social Security."

    Good for you.

  19. Actually 3500 voters got to vote twice. Their first choice, the one that counts was not for Golden. One person one vote. A second choice vote isn't the same. First runners up don't get the trophy. This system is absolute bs and regardless of what the outcome was, I would say the same thing. And since its become a "thing" I too have worked since I was very young and never took a "benefit" not even the benefits negotiated by labor unions to keep all workers equal and promote mediocrity. I negotiated for myself and advanced based on my own merits.

  20. Really?
    I don't think you understand RCV. The 10000 or so I voters who picked Golden as 2nd choice did understand RCV. They knew their candidate couldn't win even though they liked their views. They could vote for that candidate and not be a spoiler. They picked Golden 2nd because they liked him and not Pelican. The majority spoke. I am very confident that if it had been a 2 candidate race, Golden would have won. In

  21. Actually I understand RCV and more importantly our countries long history of voting very well. One person one vote. Not oh gosh I can't make up my mind. Guess I'll pick two or three or......... It's not about spoilers it's about votes. Vote for the one person you believe would do the best job. Stand by your decision and accept the outcome. RCV does nothing but pollute the system. Maybe Golden would have won if everyone only got to vote once. But we won't know. Maybe lots of voters said they don't believe in voting twice so only voted for their first choice. To give second choice votes the same weight as first is totally wrong. Out of state money duped the people of Portland into forcing this on us, sadly cd2 is losing any voice we once had.

  22. One person, one vote!

  23. Federal court rules against Bruce Poliquin’s challenge of ranked-choice voting:
    The judge said the decision to adopt ranked-choice voting “was motivated by a desire to enable third-party and non-party candidates to participate in the political process, and to enable their supporters to express support without producing the spoiler effect.”

    As a result, he said, ranked-choice voting “actually encourages First Amendment expression, without discriminating against any voter based on viewpoint, faction or other invalid criteria.”

    Walker said Maine’s voters sought a system that would give voice to varied perspectives while allowing representation by candidates most of them regard as the best alternative.

    Through the new system, he said, “majority rights have been advanced, and no minority right s have been been burdened unduly, if at all.”

    Moreover, Walker wrote, “a search for what exactly the burden is” that Poliquin wants lifted “is not a fruitful exercise.”

  24. Thanks Mike.

    I hope this ends this fruitless discussion.

  25. And now, because one judge has spoken in favor of the left, it is "settled law". Funny how that works. So third party candidates were left out before? Was judge walker sleeping through every other election? Does he think third party candidates are not running in every other state? Does he think every other state does it wrong? So I can now express my support for a long shot candidate knowing that ha ha just kidding I'm voting a second time for someone who has a shot at winning. Absolutely 100%ridiculous and wrong. ONE PERSON ONE VOTE. Make up your minds People, stick to your guns and make ONE choice. Have faith in yourself if nothing else.

  26. “was motivated by a desire to enable third-party and non-party candidates to participate in the political process, and to enable their supporters to express support without producing the spoiler effect.” translates to dumpocrats always winning because most independents lean left.

  27. Old M.

    I would call that a majority.
    A majority wins.