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Voters in Maine this year get to do something envied and desired by much of the United States: vote for a thoroughly progressive candidate without worrying about in any way benefitting the worst candidate on the ballot.

This miracle is the result of ranked choice voting being used on the ballots being cast in Maine's November election. You choose your first choice and your second choice, and if your first choice doesn't win, then your vote goes to your second choice.

If the theories behind ranked choice voting, and its history in U.S. localities and in countries around the world, hold true, this election should see higher turnout, more civil and substantive campaigning, and more votes (if not victory) for a progressive candidate.

So, here's a simple 3-step guide to how to vote in the new system for a new U.S. Senator from Maine:

1. Choose Green Party candidate Lisa Savage as your first choice. Here's an excerpt from an endorsement of her by numerous prominent activists around the country:

"In her long-time peace and climate-change activism, she has specialized in linking the Pentagon’s carbon footprint and our climate crisis. She founded the Maine Natural Guard to do just that important work. . . . Lisa has also led efforts to convert the Bath Iron Works shipyard away from constructing lethal Naval Destroyers and toward creating sustainable technologies that help us deal with climate crisis. . . . Studies show that such a transformation would create more jobs for people in Maine. . . . Of course Lisa also strongly supports Medicare4All, erasing student debt, a $15 minimum wage, . . . [and has] lately spoken out against the recent massive bailouts for Wall Street under the guise of virus relief."

See more about what Lisa stands for on her website. Lisa would be a leader, not only for Maine, but for the United States.

2. Choose Democrat Sara Gideon as your second choice. She's running on a platform of not worsening things, and even tweaking some things for the better, and that's important as a second choice.

Sara Gideon's website makes no mention of foreign policy or budgetary priorities. She wants some steps in the direction of a Green New Deal. She wants to make the private health insurance system better, not worse. She wants to raise the minimum wage, but doesn't say how much. She wants to "address" and "tackle" the student debt issue. She wants to undo some of Trump's regressive tax cuts. She wants to overturn Citizens United and to ban Congress members from becoming lobbyists. It's critical that Gideon be marked as your second choice, because of #3 below.

3. Do not vote for Republican Susan Collins. According to FiveThirtyEight researchers, Collins has voted with Donald Trump / Mitch McConnell 67.5% of the time. Meanwhile, she's put on such a laughably phony show of standing up to Trump, that her name has become a punchline on television. She has even repeatedly refused to say whether she supports Trump for reelection. Earlier this year, she worked to block oversight of a loan program that she said would aid small businesses but that ended up enriching wealthy mega-corporations. Collins is suggesting that the U.S. Postal Service should fix its delays, but she's worked for years to create them. A right-wing group that approved of Collins' vote for Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court is now funding Collins' campaign. We can't give you a link to her platform on her website, because her website does not have policy positions on it. Does she stand for anything? Send her packing!

Get your mail-in ballot right away, and use it right away!

-- The RootsAction.org Team

P.S. Please forward this to everyone in Maine.


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