Spoiler Alert

 

We’ve come some distance from where we started. The destination has none of the trappings advertised and, it seems, we are nowhere near the place we were promised to be. This was not in the brochure.

With the CD 2 race breaking records for the amount of money spent, Mainers are wondering, while standing knee deep in all the residual left over from campaign mud slinging, why they find themselves burdened with more of everything that RCV promised to eliminate. The grandiose, Utopian promise of a kinder, gentler, majority approved, and fiscally spartan campaigns have proven to be as fraudulent as the “everyone-gets-a-trophy” voting platform it’s built on. But when have Utopian promises ever come true?

The fundamental premise of RCV is flawed and its genesis is suspect at best. The idea that any other candidate then the two major party candidates are spoiler candidates is bereft of any respect for the right of the individual. Furthermore, the idea that there should only be two final choices flies in the face of the tenets of our Republic, which promises that any person who qualifies may aspire to public office. RCV smacks of old world European socialism, which grants the people opportunity to chose between two government sanctioned parties.

The frustration with “spoiler candidates” is not new. Republicans were livid with Ross Perot for what they perceived was a sabotage to President George H.W. Bush’s second term and paved the way for the Clinton machine. No matter what side of the political divide cries foul, the Republic has always afforded an avenue for all voices to call for power and that the candidate who emerges from the din with a majority, of whatever variety, wins.

Maine has even had a spoiler candidate for a Governor. Angus King somehow emerged from the shrouds of spoilage to gain the plurality of votes. With Governor King, for this conservative, the temptation to try and deligitimize a duly elected official based on the current political climate is real, but in fairness, that’s left to a Trump crazed media and…Ranked Choice Voting.

Its still more than ironic that those who decry the challenges to RCV as an assault on 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. One person one vote, its that simple. Giving a little child an unearned trophy to take away the sting of losing is a bad way to raise children and an even worse way to elect our government.

By Andy Torbett

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Monday Irony

The Maine 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.

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

Impossible RCV

IMPOSSIBLE RCV: SoS claims Golden gains
604 votes from less than 562 ballots?
The numbers just don’t add up
AUGUSTA – The latest explanation from the Democrat Secretary of State about “newly found” ballots, just discovered on the eve of the 2nd Congressional District recount deadline, does not seem to add up.
The SoS claims approximately 600 new Ranked-Choice Voting votes have appeared for Jared Golden, stating they were gained from newly found ballots cast by people using a special machine only for voters with disabilities in six towns.
We now have the list of towns these ballots were from:
Monroe, Blue Hill, Otis, Van Buren, Mars Hill and part of Brewer.
Using the Bangor Daily News election results, we can see at most that there were only 562 votes cast for Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar in those municipalities if you include ALL of Brewer’s votes, not just part.
Monroe
Bond: 35
Hoar: 8
Blue Hill
Bond: 70
Hoar: 35
Otis:
Bond: 14
Hoar: 10
Van Buren
Bond: 42
Hoar: 18
Mars Hill
Bond: 31
Hoar: 9
Brewer (Entire City totals, not just the “part” that Sec. of State is dealing with)
Bond: 199
Hoar: 91
Forget about the fact that we already witnessed a ranked-choice retabulation that showed us that about 35% of Bond and Hoar voters didn’t rank Golden or Poliquin at all.
Forget about the fact that we already witnessed a ranked-choice re-tabulation that showed Congressman Bruce Poliquin picking up some votes from Bond and Hoar voters.
Forget all that and ask yourself, how could 562 Bond and Hoar “First Choice” ballots turn into 604 votes for Golden?
This process is broken. We still do not have the full story.
Assuming the same rates we saw in the official, publicly transparent RCV retabulation, one could estimate that about 2,400 new ballots would be required to see Jared Golden gain 600 more votes.
And now we are told that some number of ballots less than 562 have given Jared Golden 604 more votes.