Maine's Highest Court to Hear Ranked-Choice Voting Arguments

Apr 13, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's highest court is set to hear arguments on the constitutionality of an election overhaul approved by voters last fall.

Ranked-choice voting allows Maine residents to rank ballot choices from first to last and ensures that the winner gets a majority. But there are questions of constitutionality, and the Maine Senate asked the Supreme Judicial Court to weigh in.

Oral arguments were set for Thursday.

Nationwide, a dozen cities have adopted ranked-choice voting, and Maine voters became the first to endorse the system for statewide elections.

Supporters say the system ensures that a candidate wins majority support while eliminating the impact of spoiler candidates or party extremists who lack centrist appeal. The system will be used for races for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, Maine Senate and Maine House.