ranked-choice voting

Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Maine voters in next month’s state primary will be the first to use ranked-choice voting for state elections. Election experts say many voters don’t understand how the system works, but they’re hopeful voter education programs now running can help clear up any confusion.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is going to host a series of informational meetings on the new voting system that will be used for the first time in June primaries.

Dunlap will hold four sessions starting on Monday in Biddeford. Then meetings will follow on May 15 in Bangor, May 21 in Presque Isle and May 29 in Lewiston.

He will also offer a question-and-answer session via Facebook Live on May 24.

Joel Page / AP Photo

Maine Republicans have filed another legal challenge targeting ranked-choice voting, the new tabulation system that is to be used in the June primary election.

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.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court held oral arguments Thursday in a rare case that could determine whether Maine's ranked-choice voting system will be used in the June primary. The expedited hearing was in response to a request by Maine Senate Republicans that the court halt state implementation of the new voting system. But during a 35-minute hearing, nearly all seven justices appeared skeptical of the Republicans' arguments, and some wondered why the court was asked to solve a problem that Legislature wouldn't, or couldn't.

Steve Mistler / Maine Public

There’s a new development in the saga over Maine’s landmark ranked-choice voting law: Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy is recommending that the Maine Supreme Judicial Court review whether state election officials have the authority to implement the voting system for the June primary elections.

A proposal designed to remedy Republican objections to implementing Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting law has died after a tie vote in the Maine Senate.

The Republican-led Senate is currently suing the secretary of state because it says it doesn't have the authority, or the funding, to set up the system for the June primary elections.

During Thursday's floor debate, Republican Sen. Roger Katz, of Augusta, said the legal complaint raises constitutional issues that could be headed to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

A Superior Court judge has ruled that state election officials should continue implementing Maine's landmark ranked-choice voting law for the June primary elections. The ruling, by Kennebec Superior Court Judge Michaela Murphy, is a victory for supporters of the voting system, who have been battling with lawmakers in the courts and in the Legislature ever since voters approved ranked-choice nearly two years ago. But the legal battle is far from over.

A Kennebec County Superior Court judge says she’ll soon rule on a request to require Maine election officials to use ranked-choice voting in the June primaries.

Judge Michaela Murphy said Friday that she’ll rule in the next few days.

Supporters of ranked-choice voting filed an injunction Thursday to force Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to implement the system after Maine’s top election official warned that a conflict in statutes could scuttle plans to use the system for the June 12 primary, barring a legislative fix.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press/file

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says that he plans to use ranked-choice voting in the June primary elections after all, despite a conflict in election laws triggered by a people's veto petition.  Supporters say they believe the courts will clear up the matter quickly.

Darron Cummings / Associated Press/file

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told legislative leaders Thursday that a provision in election laws that the people's veto petition blocked means ranked-choice voting cannot be used in the June primaries.

Susan Sharon / Maine Public/file

AUGUSTA, Maine - Former presidential candidate Jill Stein is joining a push to get Maine to enact ranked-choice voting.
 
The ranked-choice system is designed to let voters rank candidates on ballots. Proponents say it eliminates spoilers and ensures majority support for the winner.
 
Voters chose to enact ranked-choice voting in Maine with a 2016 referendum vote. But the system may never be put in place because of delays imposed by state lawmakers who say it conflicts with the Maine Constitution.
 

Supporters of ranked-choice voting were back at the polls on Tuesday, just one day after Maine’s secretary of state approved their petitions for a people’s veto of a law that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting until 2021.

“We have 90 days to collect 61,123 valid signatures. Upon submitting those signatures, we freeze the law in place as it was approved by voters in Nov. 2016,” says Kyle Bailey, manager of the campaign.

Late Monday night, the Legislature passed a bill that will delay and potentially repeal Maine’s landmark ranked-choice voting law, which voters passed last year. Supporters of ranked-choice voting are angry, and now they’re vowing to launch a people’s veto to overturn the Legislature’s delay-and-repeal bill.

Maine lawmakers are still struggling with how to deal with Maine’s landmark ranked choice voting law.

On Monday the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee held a public hearing on a proposal that would implement parts of the voter-approved law unlikely to run afoul of Maine’s Constitution.

But some lawmakers want to delay implementation of the law, or repeal it altogether.

Cushing Samp volunteered for the ranked choice voting campaign last year. She said delaying or repealing ranked choice would be an affront to voters.

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