It’s not an Oscar-worthy performance, but Jennifer Lawrence is certainly believable as a concerned citizen in a new video urging Maine voters to approve Question 1.
What, you ask, is Question 1 and why does an A-list Hollywood actress who doesn’t live in the Pine Tree State feel so strongly about it? The referendum, which is on the ballot June 12, would keep ranked-choice voting for state elections, and Lawrence is endorsing it because, as she says in the video, it would “help make government work better.”
Turns out that JLaw, who’s best known for her roles in “The Hunger Games” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” for which she won an Academy Award, has been working with Democrats, Republicans, and others to promote such nonpartisan initiatives across the country.
Ranked-choice voting, which Maine voters approved in 2016 only to have the Legislature overturn it, would allow voters to rank all the candidates, in order of preference, when marking their ballots. If no candidate receives 50 percent of first-choice votes, then the bottom candidate is eliminated, with his or her votes reallocated to the second choice. After that, if no candidate gets 50 percent, the process repeats until a candidate receives a majority.
In the video, the 27-year-old Lawrence speaks directly to the camera, hands clasped, calling Question 1 “a simple, fair, and common sense form of voting.”
In case you’re wondering, Maine Governor Paul LePage opposes Question 1. In his weekly radio address this week, the pugnacious LePage, who’s prone to saying just about anything that comes into his head, explained his opposition this way: “Ranked Choice Voting works on the assumption that there is something special about being elected with a majority rather than a plurality. The greatest president we’ve had in our nation’s history, Abraham Lincoln, was elected with less than 40 percent of the popular vote in a four-way race in 1860. I think that plurality worked out just fine.”