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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Ranked Choice Voting Not as Legitimate as

Mainstream Media Says it is


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, December 5, 2018


   Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is receiving rave reviews by all the liberal media establishments in Maine since the southern Maine socialists tricked the Maine voters into approving it via initiative in 2016.  However, the convoluted flim-flam system of counting “votes” is fraught with errors, inconsistencies and does not align with the State Constitution’s mandate for counting of votes.

   Additionally, election clerks across the state have found it difficult to correlate the votes from their electronic vote counting machines to a readable reporting format and when they do, the Secretary of State’s office only initially required them to report the First Choice numbers.

   Another problem clerks had is the ability to reconcile the number of votes cast for candidates with the total number of ballots.  For example, if 300 ballots are cast with three candidates on them, election clerks simply total the number of votes for all the candidates, along with any blank votes, and those numbers will reconcile with the total number of ballots similar to the way one would balance a checkbook.  With RCV, however, there is no requirement for all voters to fill in all the choices, so it is impossible to reconcile the number of candidate votes cast with the total number of ballots submitted.

   RCV is a voting system conceived in the socialist republic of California, and implemented at the local level in southern Maine by transplanted Boston socialists.  It is a process whereby the candidates are in a sense “graded” by the voters by allowing them to cast multiple votes for a candidates, ranking each as their First Choice, Second Choice, Third Choice and so on for the total number of candidates.   If no candidate receives the majority of 1st choice votes in the first round of counting, the second choice votes are added in for the top candidates as if they were 1st choice and counted.

  This is where RCV gets tricky.  For example, if, after one round of counting, a candidate obtained a plurality of the votes but not a majority, that candidate would be declared the winner according to the Maine Constitution as it currently exists. But, according to the RCV Act, that same candidate would not be declared the winner.

   Instead, the candidate, though already having obtained a plurality of the votes, and thus the winner under the Constitution’s current provisions, would be subject to additional rounds of counting in which second, third, and fourth choices are accounted for with the lowest vote-garnering candidates  successively eliminated. Once those additional rounds are completed, a different candidate may be declared the winner — not because that second candidate obtained a plurality of the votes (which the first candidate had already obtained), but because that candidate obtained a majority of the votes after eliminating other candidates by taking into account the second, third, and fourth place preference.  In this way, RCV prevents the candidate obtaining a “plurality” from being named the winner unless and until multiple rounds of vote-counting have occurred.

   This is the law Mainers were tricked into adopting which is in violation of their own state’s Constitution.

   David Lebedoff, a Minneapolis attorney, and the author of The New Elite explained the process in simple terms in an op-ed at using a restaurant analogy; “Just try ordering this way in a restaurant. Nobody will get served what they really want. Why should you have to settle for cottage cheese when what you hungrily craved was a steak? And you’re not that crazy about cottage cheese. It’s OK, but not as an entrée. You only ranked it second because it seemed, well, harmless, and you’re allergic to seafood so you wanted the shrimp to finish last,” wrote Lebedoff.  “This is the way we’re now supposed to choose our elected officials.”

   “Ranked-choice voting might be a good policy idea,” wrote Eugene Volokh in a recent Washington Post op-ed, “but adopting it in Maine would take a state constitutional amendment, not a statute.”

   It’s also possible to “game” the RCV system by amassing a group of people to vote for two candidates for a certain choice slot in order to drive the front runner either up or down in the total count when the retabulations ultimately occur.

   While the people of Maine were bamboozled into approving  this system of voting, they “put the cart before the horse” by passing a law that is not authorized by the State’s constitution prior to amending it to allow for the change. But, this is the type of bad legislation one can expect when putting out complicated legislative decisions to voters who spend little to no time understanding the issue they’re voting on outside of the three seconds of information they glean from a special interest television commercial before they change the channel.

   At Article IV Sec. 5 of the Maine Constitution, it is mandated that the candidate with the “plurality” of votes be declared the winner.  This means all candidates are presented, votes cast by the citizenry for only one candidate of their choice and whoever receives the greatest number of votes is to be declared the winner.  There is no allowance for any sort of ranking of candidates or allowing of any other form of counting in the Maine Constitution, which is the Supreme Law of the Land in Maine that all other laws must conform to.  But, it’s safe to say none of the voters in Maine who cast a vote to approve the RCV initiative in 2016 actually read the Constitution beforehand.

     The U.S. Constitution defers to the various states’ legislatures for the “time places and manner of holding elections for U.S. Senators and Representatives.”  This means, if the Maine Constitution requires a plurality of votes for its candidates, then that’s how they have to be counted for the federal candidates as well.

   It is nearly impossible to determine which candidate actually received a plurality—or the most votes—under the RCV system because each candidate may receive multiple ranked choice votes.  This multiplicity of votes is what is not allowed for in the current constitution in Maine.

  Maine’s first attempt at RCV for a federal election occurred this past November.  Republican incumbent, Bruce Poliquin initially received the greater number of 1st Choice votes over Democrat Jared Golden.  However, after the “2nd choice” and lesser numbers were counted from those who voted independent, Golden came out ahead.

   Poliquin led Golden by 2,632 votes after Election Day, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s Office, which gave him the plurality of votes and the win, according to the Maine Constitution.  However, the RCV law pulled a fast one and factored in the votes for second choice candidates which then propelled Golden - the “second choice” candidate to the win.  With the addition of the second choice votes, Golden gained 10,232 votes from the ranked-choice additions and Poliquin gained 4,695 votes. That 5,537-vote edge allowed Golden to overcome Poliquin’s 2,632-vote lead and be declared the winner - even though the law that allowed for this convoluted election scheme is not authorized by the supreme law of the land - the Maine Constitution - which all state laws must conform to in order to be valid and of lawful effect.

   This liberal sleight of hand at the polls has spurred a lawsuit by Poliquin in Maine’s extremely liberal, socialist courtrooms where he rightly argues the voting process is unlawful due to the fact that it does not align with the plurality requirements of the Maine Constitution—which is the Supreme Law of the land which all State laws must conform to.  However all of the liberal law professors interviewed by the liberal mainstream media on the subject predict that Poliquin’s argument will fall on deaf ears and ultimately fail.  This despite the fact that last year, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an advisory opinion that said ranked-choice voting violated the Maine Constitution, which requires elections for state office to be decided by a plurality of votes.

   Kyle Bailey with the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, said “The results here today show that the majority of voters in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District preferred Jared Golden to Rep. Bruce Poliquin. And that’s the results of the election.”  However, Mr. Bailey is wrong.  The majority of voters in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District did not prefer Jared Golden; because if they did, they would have selected him as their first choice to begin with.

   So, here we sit in Maine with a law passed by a majority of Mainers who spent little to no time understanding its legal issues, that is in complete violation of the Maine Constitution, being allowed to stand in force as if the people’s initiative authorizing it were somehow a de facto Constitutional amendment even though the amendment process has not been followed on this particular subject matter and it doesn’t seem that it will be in the foreseeable future.

   While the voters can be blamed for allowing this botched legislation to come into effect, the Maine judicial system bears the ultimate responsibility for its continuation by not nullifying it until the proper amendment process and debate has been undertaken to amend the Maine Constitution to allow for it.







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