Maine moves toward presidential primaries with ranked voting

June 20, 2019 GMT

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine is one step away from ditching its presidential caucuses for a primary system that would be the nation’s first to allow voters to rank candidates from first to last on the ballot.

The Democratic-led Senate enacted Wednesday a bill to switch to presidential primaries. It now heads to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, who hasn’t taken a position.

If primaries are approved, then they’ll use ranked-choice voting.

As the 2020 presidential primary season nears, Maine is among an increasingly small handful of states that still have caucuses, including Iowa, Nevada and Wyoming.

The ranked system allows voters to rank candidates on a ballot with provisions for extra voting rounds and last-place candidate eliminations to ensure a majority winner.