June 12 — To the Editor:
Maine's first ranked-choice Primary election has come and gone. I was pretty excited that my state is leading the nation in what will one day be the standard method of voting. As a former nearly 30-year registered Republican voter and now, (thanks to the Trumplican takeover of the Republican Party), a proud member of the ranks of the unaffiliated, I was disappointed that I was basically disenfranchised from the ranked-choice experience. In Maine you have to go through the tedious, clerical process of registering with a party in order to vote in the Primary. And then you have to feign allegiance to that party for at least 90 days before you can change your voter registration back to unaffiliated. But I imagine in those 90 days you will get your name on plenty of mailing lists asking for money for some party candidate or cause.
In NH you can perform this dance all in the same day. But the whole process in both states seems ridiculous. As someone near and dear to me asked, "Why can't everyone just vote for candidates from all parties in the Primary?" We the unaffiliated, independent voters cannot have a voice in which candidates we will choose from in the general election? There is no mention of parties in the US Constitution. Parties are a corruption of the American system of government. Perhaps Maine in its continued leadership in the realm of voting rights will enact a completely open primary where voters can choose candidates from all parties. Let the parties put forth candidates to carry the party name in November. But let all voters choose which of these candidates they want to see advance to the general election. This would actually ensure that all parties put forth a candidate who appeals to the greatest consensus of the voters. Under this process, the voting public would actually get less extreme, more mainstream candidates to choose from in the general election. Imagine actually getting to choose a winner from a number of excellent and highly qualified candidates regardless of their party. What a great America that would be.
Eric R. Christian