Ranked Choice Vote Works! Maine 2018

Finally, finally, a success for Ranked Choice Vote in the United States. After decades of struggling against the disastrous first-past-the-post voting system, we finally get a real step towards voting that actually works.

(Seriously, first past the post is horrible, and stuff like the 1998 Minnesota Governor Election shows exactly why. Only five states—Washington, California, Louisiana, Georgia (<3), and Maine—avoid this massive problem that has plagued the country for ages.)

ranked choice vote only in maine
Pathetic

Finally, in 2016, Maine approved instant runoff voting for all its statewide elections—or, in other words, Ranked Choice Voting. And in 2018, we finally saw it in action for the first time.

Ranked Choice Vote

voting precinct

If you aren’t familiar with Ranked Choice Voting, here is the way-too-simple explanation. Instead of choosing one candidate to vote for, you take all candidates on the ballot and rank them from top to bottom. Then, when all ballots are counted, if nobody reaches 50% on the first round, the worst scoring candidate is eliminated, and anyone who had the worst candidate as their #1 will then transfer to their #2, and then so on and so on.

Read more about it and other electoral reform topics on FairVote.

It’s not a perfect system, but literally anything is better than first-past-the-post. And Maine is the first state to show it off… And to show that it really works!

Maine Paves the Way

Despite constant repeal attempts over the past few years, Ranked Choice Voice has survived and thrived in Maine, and in 2018 we got to see it in action. People voted, the system didn’t collapse in on itself, and the votes came in just as planned.

In fact, in the second district, we actually saw our first case of multi-ballot voting. In the first round, the Republican candidate led, but only with 46%. After the lower-ranking candidates were eliminated, the Democrat was declared the winner with 50.6% of the vote.

It all went very well. And it showed that Ranked Choice Vote is a viable voting system that will hopefully replace first-past-the-post in many more states.

On the ballot in November, voters in Alaska and Massachusetts will decide on Ranked Choice Vote. And starting next year, New York City will conduct its biggest local elections with the system. If all of that goes as well as Maine, we could see a really big revolution in voting in the 20s. All thanks to 2018!

And in extremely recent news: Maine will vote for President with Ranked Choice Vote for the first time ever in American history! Yay!

For more another blog post on news & politics, read about the GOP’s disastrous anti-transit tactics in the early 10s.

[2012] The Nostalgic World of Obama x Romney Fan Fiction

I can’t believe it was a simpler time for politics back in 2012. It felt like there was really something boiling under the lid, something about to spill over and really harm the country. Of course, that feeling ended up proving true in 2016, when the forces under the surface of the prior election cycle became the ultimate symbol of chaos and division for the United States.

The GOP presidential primaries that year were a battle for the soul of the party, where Tea Party demagogues like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum dueled against the big business establishment of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich and against the libertarian populism of Ron Paul. A holy war was being waged, and the eventual result, four years later, was that all three of these factions would collide into the socially conservative, big business populist known as, uh, that one guy who became President in 2016.

Continue reading “[2012] The Nostalgic World of Obama x Romney Fan Fiction”

[2015] A Terrorist Attack in My Hometown

On July 16th, 2015, a terrorist attack happened less than five miles from me.

I was sitting at home, doing whatever. Who even knows. Then the news came in that a deranged man shot up an military recruitment building in Chattanooga. Then he got in his car, drove to a Navy Reserve center, and shot it up as well.

5 people died, and two were injured. The man wasn’t ISIS, but he had been influenced by jihadi propaganda on the internet, as well as mental health and drug abuse problems. Right here, where I lived, where I never even considered the possibility of something like this happening, some depraved being went on a rampage committed a mass shooting.

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[2015] Gay Marriage Happened

We look back at the past decade of American history and remember, oh wow, gay marriage was only legalized like five years ago. The entire culture has changed around gay marriage so rapidly that it’s hard to remember that, in 2010, only a couple of states allowed it. Being LGBT+, even in the most open of online communities, wasn’t generally something accepted.

I think it’s awesome.

Gay marriage has so completely changed the rest of the United States that it’s made every other place on Earth without it look like ancient barbaric wastelands. Japan, famous internationally for its comic books about boys kissing, is treated more and more backwards with every passing year, and honestly, it’s probably deservingly so.

The fact that I can write a gay romance web novel (I have no shame so here it is) and share it with friends and family and none of them will bat an eye… It’s not even something I had considered until I sat down to write this post, and it’s honestly bewildering me now. How did things move so quickly? How did it normalize so permanently?

I mean, it’s not like LGBT rights have improved THAT much in the past decade. We still have people act like it’s an unholy abomination and comment gladly on Facebook with their “I have a gay relative, so it’s OK that I can say this” posts. We still have transgender people treated like second-class citizens who can’t even use the bathroom for fear of retaliation. For all of that, I don’t want to praise the world TOO much. There’s still an extremely long way to go.

But gay marriage? The ability for same-gender couples to come together and start a family and live in harmony? It’s like… Dang, that’s a completely regular thing now.

Nanoha and Fate, trailblazers for the entire decade for gay rights

[2016-2019] What the Hell Happened to Lindsey Graham?

Not that most politicians ever have a backbone about anything, but the complete and utter collapse of Lindsey Graham has been a disturbing and almost Greek Tragedy-level event unfolding before our eyes these past four years.

Continue reading “[2016-2019] What the Hell Happened to Lindsey Graham?”

[2016] A Collection of Jeb! (Part One)

I have a lot of pictures of Jeb! on my hard drive. I’m going to share some of those in honor of our 45th President, Jeb! Bush. Please read on and view these images.

Continue reading “[2016] A Collection of Jeb! (Part One)”

[2017] Sean Spicer vs. The Dots

Sean Spicer, one of the first goons of the current White House administration to get sacked for publicity and ratings reasons, has a strange animosity towards Dippin’ Dots, that bad ice cream you sometimes buy at water parks. Just to know that this tweet exists, and that this guy went on to be on Dancing with the Stars somehow, brings a bright LED light to my cold, robotic heart.

[2014] The Sony Hack

I think America is really messed up in a lot of ways, but one way is in our collective short-term memory being a single news cycle long, and that’s on a good day.

Remember when, five years ago today, North Korea launched a state-sponsored terror attack against Sony Pictures, leaking thousands of e-mails, scripts, and other sensitive files, then threatening a repeat of 9/11 if The Interview was shown in theaters?

This actually friggin’ happened, and yet it’s barely a footnote in the 2010s somehow. What is wrong with us?

Continue reading “[2014] The Sony Hack”