ranked choice voting

The Maine Supreme Court has appeared to clear the way for a first of its kind election. The court Tuesday removed the final roadblock to implementing ranked-choice voting for the June primaries. Ranked-choice advocates say the court's opinion will preempt the kind of legal challenges that have followed the law ever since voters enacted it nearly two years ago. But others warn that additional litigation looms.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court says the nation’s first statewide ranked-choice voting election can go forward in the June primaries.

Maine Public staff/file

Another turn in the ongoing legal and political fight over ranked-choice voting Maine — Republicans in the Maine Senate on Monday passed a measure to block implementation of the system, which could be in place for the June primaries.

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

It’s still unclear whether Maine voters will use a landmark ranked choice voting system in June that will purportedly make elections less acrimonious and less partisan. But the fate of the voting system could largely be determined by voters who identify as partisans, and less so by the state’s biggest voting bloc: independents.

Tom Porter / Maine Public File

The people's veto campaign to overturn a law that would eventually repeal Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting system has qualified for the June ballot.

Mal Leary / Maine Public

Advocates of ranked choice voting are celebrating today, as they submitted signatures that restore a law passed two years ago in Maine.

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.