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Maine Republicans plan to ignore ranked-choice voting in 2024 presidential primary

The Maine Republican Party is saying it won't recognize the results of ranked-choice runoff in the March presidential primary. And in this case, the law says they're not required to.

With the Republican presidential field still in flux, it's unclear what names will be on the ballot when Maine voters head the polls for the Super Tuesday primaries on March 5. If three or more Republican contenders qualify for Maine's ballot, primary voters would have the opportunity to rank those candidates in their order of preference. But Republican Party officials made clear on Friday that the only result that will matter is who wins the most votes during the first count.

"Ranked-choice voting is not something that the vast majority of Republicans agree with to begin with," said Joel Stekis, the chairman of the Maine Republican Party.

"In this situation, we actually have control over whether we use that system that we don't believe in or not. And we chose to, you know, go with the system that we've used in this country since the beginning," Stekis said.

Emily Cook, a spokesperson for the Maine Secretary of State, says the law would require her office to run a ranked-choice runoff if no Republican candidate receives more than 50 percent of the first vote count. But Cook says it is up to the parties to decide what to do with those results. Because when it comes to presidential primaries, the parties decide how to allocate their delegates for the national conventions.