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Ranked-Choice Voting Approved Via Referendum Still Stymies Maine Legislature

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.

“It never occurred to me that the Legislature might spit in the face of the voters and consider refusing to implement the unchallenged portions of ranked choice voting,” Samp says.

In May, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an advisory opinion saying the portion of the law dealing with legislative and gubernatorial races in the general elections violates the constitution. The court did not address constitutionality of primary elections. That means the system could be in place for June’s crowded congressional and gubernatorial primaries.