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Politics

Maine Lawmakers Endorse Expanding Ranked-Choice Voting To Presidential Primaries In March

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Maine Public/file
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Sen. Troy Jackson sponsored the bill to expand ranked-choice voting to Maine's primary races. Jackson is seen here at a news event in June of 2018.

Just minutes before Monday's special legislative session adjourned, the Maine Senate joined the House in enacting a measure that expands ranked-choice voting to presidential contests. 

The bill would use ranked-choice voting in primaries, including the presidential primaries scheduled for March, and in the selection of presidential electors in the general election.  Senate President Troy Jackson, a Democrat from Allagash, sponsored the bill.

 

"For it to happen in March we would have had to enact it today," Jackson said. "We are not coming in, most likely, until January, and, from what I understand, the secretary of state said he would do it within existing resources.”

 

Republicans are not happy with the the move. "We are passing laws down here without fully understanding the implementation, the impact on the voters, the cost, the confusion and everything else," said Sen. Brad Farrin, a Republican from Nrridgewock. "So I am disappointed that was put forward."

 

Republicans say Jackson had told them the measure would not be taken up in the special session. But Jackson says that was before Republicans told him they were taking a party caucus position against three of the four bond issues. The measure now goes to Gov. Janet Mills.