Of all the things that Mainers have to be proud of — be it our lobster, our pine trees, our vast expanses of woodlands, or our inscrutable miles of rocky coast — there is one thing that we should all be celebrating about our state that you won’t see plastered on any bumpers or T-shirts: We have one of the highest rates of voter participation in the country.

The reasons for this are numerous, but there is no doubt that our groundbreaking policies relating to voting and elections are a big part of it. Maine has been a leader in electoral reform. We have a public financing system for state races that enjoys bipartisan support that allows anyone to run for office regardless of their finances. Ranked Choice Voting allows independent voices to be heard without handing victory to a candidate without a majority of support. Same-day voter registration and “motor voter” laws allow more people to participate in our elections, which keeps turnout high.

There is one more reform that we need in our “two-party” system: open primaries. In a multi-party parliamentary system where party activists choose their candidates, such a reform wouldn’t be necessary — but in our two-party system, we shouldn’t allow our prospective leaders to be chosen by a narrow segment of each party’s base. With 35 percent of Maine people not enrolled in a party, it is time to give those people a voice in the primaries.

I’d like to propose a small change to our state motto: “Maine, the Way Democracy Should Be.” Let’s continue to show that we can overcome our serious differences by trusting that when we work towards a truly representative system, our leaders will act in the best interests of all our citizens.

Grayson Lookner, Portland (formerly of Camden)