Judge To Rule On Whether Ranked-Choice Voting Can Be Used In Primaries

Mar 30, 2018

A Kennebec County Superior Court judge says she’ll soon rule on a request to require Maine election officials to use ranked-choice voting in the June primaries.

Judge Michaela Murphy said Friday that she’ll rule in the next few days.

Supporters of ranked-choice voting filed an injunction Thursday to force Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to implement the system after Maine’s top election official warned that a conflict in statutes could scuttle plans to use the system for the June 12 primary, barring a legislative fix.

But such a fix could come from Murphy, who will review whether a newer statute supersedes the one preventing the voting law from being used in June.

Mainers approved the new voting concept in a statewide referendum in Nov. 2016, but lawmakers delayed implementation and passed a law that eventually repeals ranked choice.

Ranked-choice supporters then organized a people’s veto, which will appear on the June ballot — potentially at the same time that Mainers are testing the system for the first time.