[WESTBROOK, ME] – Today, 63% of Westbrook residents voted to expand Ranked Choice Voting to municipal elections, including Mayoral, City Council, and School Committee races. The percentage of voters in favor is higher than in 2016 and 2018 state referendums.
This makes Westbrook the second Maine town to adopt Ranked Choice Voting for its municipal elections.
This method of voting ensures that the winner is chosen by a majority of the people voting, eliminates vote-splitting and strategic voting, reduces incentives for negative campaigning, and encourages politicians to connect more with voters and other candidates.
The League of Women Voters of Maine and Ranked Choice Voting Westbrook joined forces to host a canvassing event ahead of the November 2nd election. The rally informed Westbrook residents about adopting Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for their local elections, and advocates urged eligible voters to vote YES in support of amending the City Charter to implement RCV.
Samantha Bassett, a local resident and advocate, wanted to find a way to bring RCV for municipal elections to Westbrook. She brought it forward to her City Councilor, David Morse, and became the catalyst for the movement that would eventually lead to the amendment question on the November 2 ballot.
“Mainers consistently vote in favor of using Ranked Choice Voting, and RCV will certainly be beneficial for Westbrook. In the 2016 and 2017 mayoral races, there were four candidates each year, and none of them received a majority of the vote. Had RCV been used and implemented, the tabulation would have resulted in a winning candidate that represented the will of the majority,” said Anna Kellar, the Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Maine.