ranked choice voting

AUGUSTA, Maine - A bill to delay ranked-choice voting has become law without the signature of Maine Gov. Paul LePage.
A spokeswoman for the Republican governor confirmed Monday that LePage declined to sign the bill that delays implementing the new law until at least 2021.
Mainers approved the election system that allows voters to rank their top candidate choices rather than just picking one.

Dozens of supporters of a landmark ranked choice voting system urged lawmakers not to scuttle the voter-approved law during a public hearing at the State House Friday.

They told the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee that the Legislature should pass a constitutional amendment so that the law can be fully implemented.

Cara Brown McCormick helped lead the ranked choice ballot initiative approved by voters last year. She said it was disingenuous for lawmakers to use a recent Maine Supreme Court opinion as cover to repeal the entire law.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

Maine’s first-in-the-nation ranked-choice voting law is under threat, and advocates of the election reform law know it. Around 50 of them gathered at the State House Thursday to rally against a repeal effort in the Legislature that has a good chance of succeeding.

Month in Review

May 31, 2017

Why doesn’t Governor LePage want you to know the way to Katahdin national monument?  What’s the latest on ranked choice voting? How much work does the legislature have left to get done?  Our panel discusses all the news that made headlines in May.


Kathleen Fleury, Editor-in-Chief, Down East magazine

Greg Kesich, Editorial Page Editor, Portland Press Herald/ Maine Sunday Telegram

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Legislature is taking steps that could undo the voter-approved new system for elections.
The Legislative Council on Thursday voted to allowed lawmakers to consider two new bills over the coming weeks.
The Maine State Supreme Judicial Court said this week that a new system allowing voters to rank their top candidate picks runs afoul of the Maine Constitution.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

The Maine Supreme Court has issued an advisory opinion Tuesday that the state’s new ranked-choice voting law conflicts with the state constitution. Debate is now growing over what happens next.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

Maine’s ranked-choice voting law had its day in court Thursday.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard oral arguments that could determine the fate of the citizen initiative passed by voters in November. The court’s views on the constitutionality of the law will likely influence legislators to either keep the first-in-the-nation system, ditch it altogether or try to amend the constitution.

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.

Maine Public/file

Maine voters approved a measure this past fall to adopt a ranked-choice voting system for statewide elections. Now lawmakers who are trying to implement the new law are asking the Maine Supreme Court to weigh in on whether it’s constitutional.

Debate: Ballot Question 5

Oct 21, 2016

YOUR VOTE 2016 - BALLOT QUESTION 5 - We host a debate on Ballot Question 5 - An act to establish ranked-choice voting (live from our Lewiston studio)

Guests: Representing Yes on Question 5 - Kyle Bailey, Campaign Manager of the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting  

Representing No on Question 5 - Rep. Heather Sirocki of Scarborough  

This video from Minnesota Public Radio offers a clever explanation of how ranked choice voting works: Click here to view the video.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Senate President Mike Thibodeau has written Attorney General Janet Mills asking her opinion on whether the citizen initiative before the Legislature that would establish ranked choice voting in the state is constitutional.

“If the Attorney General were to come back with her opinion being that it is in violation of the constitution, that may be the next logical step, reaching out to the Supreme Court.” Thibodeau says.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A top election official says a ballot question that would provide ranked-choice voting in Maine elections could violate the state Constitution.

The Portland Press Herald reports that Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn says she's concerned that candidates elected under the system could be challenged in court if voters approve the ballot question.

Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Supporters of instant-runoff voting, sometimes called ranked-choice voting, have submitted nearly 70,000 signatures to initiate legislation in Maine that would require the process in electing members of Congress, the Legislature and the governor's office.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Unlike some other states, Maine doesn't require that a candidate for governor get more than 50 percent of the vote to win. In fact, since 1970, only three Maine governors have exceeded that threshold of support.