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House Speaker Wants To Add Ranked-Choice Voting To Legislature’s Special Session

Maine Gov. Paul LePage is expected to call the Legislature into special session sometime this fall to take up several unresolved issues. But Maine’s speaker of the house expects that the session will also deal with other matters as well, including ranked-choice voting.

House Speaker Sara Gideon says she wants to meet with LePage next week to nail down a time for the special session he plans to call. She says the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will be asked to shape a proposal to address the constitutional problems with the voter-passed measure establishing ranked-choice voting in the state.

“We’re pretty worried that if that were to remain in place as we go into the general elections, that we could really have a mess on our hands. We could have lawsuits, we could have a great deal of confusion,” she says.

In addition, legislation to implement the voter-approved measure legalizing recreational use of marijuana is expected to be completed in September, and could be considered at the special session. LePage meanwhile wants the session devoted to fixing the food sovereignty bill, which has run afoul of federal law, and to address a funding problem for the state Office of Geographic Information Systems. Gideon says in order to deal with those issues, lawmakers would need to hold hearings before a special session convenes.