Maine votes to keep ranked-choice voting system
Maine voters on Tuesday chose to overhaul the state’s election system and use ranked-choice voting in the midterms, according to The Associated Press.
According to the AP, voters rejected state legislators’ request to delay implementing ranked-choice voting past the midterms, and approved a ballot referendum that will keep the voting system — which was used in Tuesday’s primary elections in the state — intact in November.
Ranked-choice voting is a system in which voters submit a ballot that ranks candidates in order of preference. The candidate who receives more than 50 percent of the vote wins, but if nobody reaches that point, an instant-runoff situation occurs. In this scenario, the candidate with the least amount of first-place votes is eliminated and those votes are then reallocated to the voters’ second choices.
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The system is already used in 11 local jurisdictions.
Advocates of ranked-choice voting say it will help ensure a majority winner as the midterms approach.
Critics, however, have said it doesn’t align with the state’s constitution.
Maine Gov. Roy LePage (R) said he “probably” would not certify the results of the state’s primary elections and let the courts intervene. He told local news organizations that the voting system is “the most horrific thing in the world.”
The ranked-choice system will be utilized for U.S. House and U.S. Senate elections. The system will not be used in this fall’s elections for governor and state legislative seats, though.