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Maine panel considers ranked choice voting bills

April 18, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine could expand its new voting system and allow voters to rank gubernatorial and legislative candidates from first to last on November ballots.

The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee voted Wednesday on bills addressing the future of the system, which Mainers endorsed in two statewide votes.

The committee voted 8-5 on a bill allowing the expansion of ranked voting. The committee voted 8-5 against Republican bills to stymie the system.

It works like this: Voters rank candidates on the ballot, and a candidate garnering a majority of first-place votes is the winner.

Otherwise, last-place candidates are eliminated and votes are reallocated until there’s a majority winner.

Maine used ranked-choice voting for the first time in November’s federal races. But Maine’s constitution prevents its use in November legislative and gubernatorial elections.

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