Your Vote 2018

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A judge has ordered Maine's secretary of state to reopen a probe into Republican U.S. Senate candidate Max Linn's petition to be on the ballot.

The judge told Secretary of State Matt Dunlap on Friday to accept new evidence from the campaign of Eric Brakey of Auburn, who is seeking the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate.

Both candidates are seeking to challenge incumbent independent U.S. Sen. Angus King. Democrat Zak Ringelstein has also entered the race.

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.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine reports more than $2.2 million in his campaign war chest as Democratic opponents make their case to donors ahead of the June 12 primary.
 
Democrats, including Assistant Maine House Leader Jared Golden; conservationist Lucas St. Clair; farmer and carpenter Jonathan Fulford; and bookseller Craig Olson recently filed campaign finance reports as they compete to face the congressman in November.
 

Courtesy Grohman campaign

Marty Grohman, an independent state representative from Biddeford, announced Tuesday that he's running for the 1st Congressional District seat currently held by Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree.

Grohman, a businessman and second-term legislator in the House, unenrolled from the Democratic party last year.

Grohman said he's running to become a voice of reason in a Congress paralyzed by partisan gridlock.

AP Photo

It was a chaotic week for those attempting to follow developments of Maine's ranked-choice voting law. And it's still unclear how all of this is going to shake out.

Political correspondent Steve Mistler joined Nora Flaherty on Maine Things Considered to get us up to date and tell us how we got here.

Max Linn campaign

The Secretary of State says Republican U.S. Senate candidate Max Linn has enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, even though more than 200 of them were ruled invalid, including several of people who are dead. 

The findings followed a challenge filed by the campaign of state Sen Eric Brakey, a Republican hoping to unseat independent U.S. Sen Angus King in the fall.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Maine Senate voted 21-14 today to add $700,000 to Maine's public campaign financing program.

The program, known as the Maine Clean Election Act, currently has over $6 million, but administrators say more may be needed because of its heavy use by gubernatorial and legislative candidates this year. 

During the floor debate, Democratic Sen. Mike Carpenter, of Houlton, said it's important to protect the program that Republicans and Democrats use to finance their campaigns.

Mal Leary / Maine Public/file

Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau is ending his bid for governor. Thibodeau announced that he's dropping out of the governor's race in a Facebook post published Monday.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public/file

The campaign of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Eric Brakey is challenging whether his Maine primary opponent has qualified for the ballot.

Brakey, a state senator from Auburn, filed an official protest Thursday with Maine election officials against Bar Harbor Republican Max Linn, citing an array of irregularities with Linn's ballot petitions. Brakey's campaign asserts that it found petitions that were signed by people who are deceased, duplicates and inconsistencies with signatures by a notary.

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