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Ranked-Choice Voting Supporters Collect Signatures For People’s Veto At Polling Places

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.

Last November, Maine voters became the first in the nation to authorize a system where voters rank candidates in order of preference. But after the Maine Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion saying part of it was unconstitutional, Maine lawmakers recently opted to delay its start.

Bailey says Mainers have made it clear they don’t want to wait. And on Tuesday about 400 volunteers fanned out to the polls to try to prove it.

“The people’s veto restores ranked-choice voting for the seven elections that are unaffected by the court’s nonbinding, advisory opinion on ranked-choice voting. So, voters will have a chance to restore ranked-choice voting for use in the primary elections and the federal elections for which there are no constitutional questions about restoring ranked-choice voting,” he says.

Bailey says people want a chance “to claim more voice and more choice” in their democracy. Many, he says, expressed frustration with the Legislature for overturning the will of the people.

If they are successful with the people’s veto, voters will have a chance to decide to keep ranked-choice voting in June and also get the chance to rank the candidates for governor and Congress in primary elections.