As Maine goes, so goes the nation?
I suspect apart from the senate result Maine won’t be high on the priorities of election watchers on Tuesday as the common consent is that Biden should win the state easily (he’s currently around 1/7 on Betfair to win Maine.)
So why all eyes on Maine, no not because of the fantastic lobsters Maine offers but because Maine will be the first state ever to use ranked choice voting for a Presidential election. The form of ranked choice voting Maine is using is instant run off voting which is known as the alternative vote this side of the pond.
As we saw in this country turnout explodes where every vote is equal across the country, that’s why the generational Scottish referendum of 2014 and the UK EU referendum saw turnout above general election levels where the archaic and unfair first past the post system operates.
The electoral college, created by the men who valued black people as only three fifths of white people, makes first past the post much much worse and we could see on Tuesday a scenario where Joe Biden wins the nationwide popular vote by five million plus votes and still loses in the electoral college.
That isn’t sustainable long term, imagine persistently winning the popular vote but not winning the Presidency and people may turn away from democracy. The GOP has only won the popular vote once in the last seven elections but won the Presidency three times, so this is something that is reality rather than theory.
The alternative vote might be the way to heal America by ensuring the result matches the voting, Maine could well change the main way America votes, keep your eyes on the lobster state, their motto is ‘Dirigo’ which is Latin for ‘I lead’*, anyone who loves democracy should be hoping and doing all they can to ensure Maine’s adoption of the alternative vote leads to America adopting the alternative vote system.
*I direct if you prefer.