Committee To Take Up Bills On Expanding Ranked-Choice Voting To More Maine Races

Apr 10, 2019

The Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will hold hearings on Wednesday on bills that would use Maine’s ranked-choice voting law in elections for governor and state legislature.

The bills propose amending the state constitution so that all state elections are decided through a system in which voters can rank candidates in order of preference.

Ranked-choice voting for all elections was approved by referendum in 2016, and was used in last year’s congressional contests, and also in the gubernatorial and congressional primaries. But a conflict with the Maine Constitution prompted state election officials to not allow ranked-choice in the gubernatorial or legislative races in the general election.

Maine voters could have the opportunity to amend the state constitution, but only if two-thirds of the Legislature passes a proposed amendment first.

Democrats, who control the Legislature, largely support ranked choice, but Republican opposition has hardened since former GOP U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin lost his 2nd District seat to Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Golden following a run-off last fall.

Originally published April 9, 2019.