To Us, The Republic

 

Disappointment is the understated term of choice at the news that Bruce Poliquin will not continue his challenge to the travesty of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). If need be, the voters of the 2nd Congressional District (CD2), who voted in a strong majority against the RCV, were keen to have their interests represented, to it’s fruition, at the highest levels of court in our Nation. This is not to be.

This voter expected my Representative to adhere to the oaths he has taken. This writer expressed publicly the duty ascribed to a public servant within a Republic to do so. But here we are, expectations still pining.

The counter to these arguments is that it is the dime and the reputation of the aforementioned servant that is spent and sullied in the public eye. It is his choice. To this, there can be no argument.

The legal expenses are burdensome. The media bias is insurmountable. The solution must come from a grassroots reckoning.

For now, the 1st Congressional District enjoys two Representatives at the expense of CD2. Yet, this is not the time for rural Maine to withdraw towards the temptation of apathy and sullen indifference at the repeated political slights from the elitist south. It is time for rural Maine to regroup, unite, and win back our vote.

An adage this writer has rejected on principle becomes a truth, in earnest, for the days to come. Until Jared Golden can win a “one person-one vote” election, instead of a manipulated, discordant violation of voter’s rights, he is quite literally not our Representative. It falls now to us, the citizens of this great Republic in the Sovereign State of Maine, to repeal Ranked Choice Voting!

-Andy Torbett

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Finish the Task

 

Bruce Poliquin will, and must, continue his challenge to the Ranked Choice voting system and the Constitutionality of the results. He will, because it is his choice as a citizen of this Republic and he has the freedom to do so. He must, because he is a Representative of the voters in the 2nd Congressional District (CD2) who, 20,000 strong, voted against the RCV and feel disenfranchised by the results of the new voting system.

It bears repeating that those who decry the challenges to RCV as an effort to erode the voter’s confidence in the voting process spent millions in an effort to erode the voter’s confidence in the voting process in order to pass RCV. To one eligible citizen there is given one vote. That is the Constitution and, as Representative Poliquin took an oath to defend the Constitution, he is required by that oath to challenge this attack on the very foundation of our Republic.

In this light, the argument and subsequent mockery of Poliquin that he did not fully criticize the RCV during the election and that this somehow invalidates his challenge is at best irrelevant and at worst, laughable. The Representative is bound by his oaths of public servitude to his constituents, the integrity of this Republic, and the ideals set forth in the Constitution of the United States. Yet, he is, of course, free to violate these oaths, as some do, for personal ease and deflection of responsibility, but the erosion of the individual voting rights of the citizen will only continue.

No, Bruce Poliquin is bound to see this through, to finish this task. In so doing,perhaps, he can raise the awareness of the, too often, apathetic voter. Maybe there can arise enough passion to repeal this travesty.

-Andy Torbett

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