Extend ranked-choice to presidential elections

America today is no longer a two-party nation. More and more, we find third- and fourth-party candidates on election ballots at every level.

The result is that the “winning” candidate often gets only a plurality of the vote, meaning that most of the voters didn’t want that person to win.

Ranked-choice voting is a proven, easy-to-understand method of making every vote count and securing majority winners. It’s been used successfully in Maine and for more than a century in other parts of the world, by millions of intelligent people just like us.

Currently in Augusta, the Legislature is considering LD 1083, a bill that would extend Maine’s ranked-choice voting for use in the state’s presidential elections.

This is a great idea. For 200 years, America has been moving toward ever-greater fairness in elections, giving the vote to African-Americans and to women, switching to popular election of senators, establishing the one-person-one-vote principle, and more.

Using ranked-choice voting in Maine as a fairer, more democratic way of electing a president and is simply the logical, realistic, and proper continuation of our tradition and history.

Let’s make it happen!

George Simonson

Harpswell

Trump Care

President Donald Trump has claimed that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and that the Republicans will come up with a better plan. The Republicans claim that they are working on a plan but there is a question of whether a Republican health care plan exists.

There is a solution to the problem of coming up with a good health care plan that should keep the Republicans and President Trump happy, and that would be to change the name of the Affordable Care Act from Obama Care to Trump Care.

Richard E. Rand

Presque Isle

Reward Stack, Dick’s Sporting Goods

How many of us would be willing to take a risk like Dick’s Sporting Goods boss Ed Stack? Chief executive of one of the country’s top gun retailers, he could not stand by and be part of the tragedies exacerbated by the easy availability of assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines, so he removed these weapons from the shelves. He knew it would hurt the bottom line — the NRA and its friends were likely to retaliate — and he could not be certain how deep the cut would be.

It was worth it to him to take a chance. I plan on celebrating Stack’s daring efforts to protect community by shopping at Dick’s whenever I can. I’m making my list: athletic equipment, including shoes, and yoga mats and gear, at the very least. “ Buycotting” is one way we can move the national conversation and behavior in a non-violent direction.

Suzanne Kelly

Bangor

Paid sick leave supports Maine workers

Of the many roles and responsibilities in life, being a parent is the most important. Even if your children are in good health, illness is unpredictable and inevitable from time to time. When your child is sick, and you miss a day of work, the panic of how to financially manage the lack of pay for the hours missed to care for them is a burden that parents should not have to face.

Parents should also never have to feel torn between choosing their sick child or a paycheck. LD 369 is a bill that supports a right for employees to use paid sick says to care for the mental and/or medical health care needs of themselves and their family members. LD 369 also protects employees from being denied or subjected to unjust retaliatory personnel action for requesting or taking earned paid sick leave.

Maine employees deserve the right to care for themselves and their families without fear of retaliation from an employer or the financial distress that missing work can cause. I deeply hope that our Legislature will support this initiative to create better financial security and overall wellness of Maine’s hardworking employees.

Erica Batson

Old Town