Save Ranked-Choice Voting in 1st State to Win It

Save Ranked-Choice Voting in 1st State to Win It

Crowdfunding Completed: December 20, 2017

Amount Funded: $2740

Project Owner: Maine UU Social Action Network

Short Description of Project

Support Maine People’s Veto to restore Ranked-Choice Voting, “2016 Most Valuable State Electoral Reform.” RCV blocked; UUs mobilize to win it back.

How was this project connected to UU?

MUUSAN is Maine’s legislative ministry linking all our 25 UU congregations in advocacy for laws and policies in keeping with our UU Principles. MUUSAN is a member of CUUSAN, the UUA's Coalition of State Advocacy Networks.

Our Faithify campaign lives in our First UU Principle, the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and in our Fifth Principle, which calls us calls us to affirm and promote "the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large."

Our understanding of democracy includes the valuing of each voter voice. A procedural change which offers the voter more say in choosing candidates (i.e., from who they want most to who they want least), and can take their preferences into account without causing the need for extra runoff elections, contributes to healthy democracy — as does any incentive for civil discourse, all of which Ranked Choice Voting provides.

Maine UUs are determined that the will of Maine voters as expressed by their clear choice of Ranked-Choice Voting in Nov. 2016 will be honored. By this effort we also honor and strengthen democracy.

Full Description of Project

All gifts up to a total of $2,500 will be matched dollar for dollar.
In Nov. 2016, by the second-largest referendum margin in state history, Maine became the first state to approve Ranked-Choice Voting (“Instant Runoff Voting”), which allows voters to rank candidates by preference, avoids runoff elections, deepens voter voice and promotes civil discourse.
Ranked-Choice Voting not only strengthens voter voice, it also discourages negative campaigning, because a candidate who isn’t a voter’s #1 choice still wants to be #2 or as high on the list as possible. This is a disincentive for attack ads and blatant lies, and an enhancement to civil discourse in campaigning, which in turn gives voters better incentive to stay engaged and to participate in the democratic process.
Maine’s Ranked-Choice Voting victory was noted by The Nation as “The Most Valuable State Electoral Reform” on its 2016 Progressive Honor Roll.
However, in a special session Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, the Maine Legislature defied the will of nearly 400,000 Mainers by voting to delay and subsequently repeal ​Maine’s voter-approved R​anked-Choice Voting law.

Maine UUs are mobilizing to help ensure that this decision will not stand. The Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN) has partnered closely with​ the Committee on Ranked-Choice Voting to launch a People’s Veto campaign to reinstate R​anked-C​hoice V​oting starting with the June 2018 ​primary election.

We have until mid Dec. to gather more than 61,000 voter signatures to bring this “People’s Veto” of the Legislature’s action ​to the ballot, giving voters the opportunity to restore Ranked Choice Voting for the next election.

This Faithify campaign to support the People’s Veto will help the Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network spur UUs and friends to action through Action Alerts, encouragement on our website’s home page, frequent Facebook posts, and congregational e-blasts and newsletters. We will identify petition signature gatherers, ensure that they receive training, support their attendance at RCV campaign events, and help them return their petitions properly to ensure validation. MUUSAN will provide our congregations with tools and resources for coffee-hour presentations and tabling at which UUs will not only be encouraged to sign People’s Veto petitions, but even more importantly to become well-trained signature gatherers in their home communities so that the deadline to call a People’s Veto can be met.

On UU devotion to strong democracy, Ranked-Choice Voting campaign director Kyle Bailey declares,
“The UUs are always the first to show up, and they never disappoint!!”
All gifts up to a total of $2,500 will be matched dollar for dollar.