Politics Maine ranked-voting system used for first time in primary: A look at the process

19:29  11 june  2018
19:29  11 june  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

Error leaves 118,000 voters in California off rosters in Los Angeles County

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The June 12 balloting will be the first statewide elections in the nation to use ranked -choice voting , a system Maine voters approved in a 2016 referendum designed to ensure that winners secure a majority—and not merely a plurality—of the vote .

Under the system just approved in Maine , voters rank five candidates from 1 to 5 on their ballots. Election officials then eliminate the candidate with the fewest first -choice votes and immediately re-assign those voters to their second-choice candidate. The process repeats until one candidate is

When Maine voters head to the polls for June 12 primary elections, the way they vote will be drastically different.

Maine is the first state in the nation to use a ranked-choice voting system in both the congressional and statewide primary elections Tuesday.

On the ballot, too, is whether voters want to continue to use ranked-voting in the future, with a ballot initiative that seeks to use ranked-choice for U.S. House and Senate races in November. The system has gotten the backing of actress Jennifer Lawrence who, in an online video, encouraged Maine voters to “protect ranked-choice and our democracy.” Lawrence has said she’s taking a year off of acting to work with an advocacy organization to “fix our democracy,” starting with state-level issues.

Maine Is About To Try Out A New Way Of Electing Politicians

  Maine Is About To Try Out A New Way Of Electing Politicians For the first time, people across the state can rank the candidates they want to represent them in the general election.Betsy Sweet, the fellow Democrat Eaves said was his second choice, returned the favor and said Eaves would be her second choice.

Ranked -choice voting will be put to its biggest test when Maine uses the system in a statewide primary election on June 12. The system works like this: Voters rank candidates from first to last on their ballot, and the election is over if one candidate wins a majority.

Maine is the first state to adopt a system called ranked -choice voting , which makes its statewide debut in Tuesday’s primary . The process is repeated as many times as necessary until a candidate gains a majority.

Sometimes also called an instant runoff, the system is already used in 11 local jurisdictions nationwide.

How this system works

Under this system, voters rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference -- instead of just choosing one person, according to a fact sheet from the Maine secretary of state’s office. If a candidate wins the majority of the vote, then they are declared the winner.

However, if no candidate receives a majority, then votes are counted in rounds with the lowest-ranked candidate eliminated per round until only two remain in a mathematical game of survival. For example, once a candidate is eliminated, the second-choice picks for voters who chose that eliminated candidate will then be counted as the remaining contenders move on to the next round. This process continues until only two candidates remain, with one receiving the majority of the vote. That person will be declared the winner.

What to watch in Tuesday’s primary elections

  What to watch in Tuesday’s primary elections Voters head to the polls in five states Tuesday for a new round of primary contests, and women are once again poised to take center stage. In fact, in one state, women are likely to capture Democratic nominations in a majority of key races.Here's what to watch Here's what to watch on Tuesday night:

AUGUSTA, Maine — Ranked -choice voting will be used in Maine ’s June primary elections, the state’s high court ruled on Tuesday in a massive win for supporters of the first -in-the-nation system that has faced constitutional scrutiny and run a political gauntlet in the Legislature.

before. So in June, Maine will hold the nation’s first statewide primary election using ranked choice voting , a rarely used system championed by political reformers whereby voters get to rank their candidate preferences, rather than simply choosing their favorite.

That means the eventual winner might not be the candidate who had the most first-place votes to begin with but rather the one who tallies the highest number of second- or even third-place votes.

According to the secretary of state’s office, voters are able to just select their first-choice candidate. But voters who select more than one candidate as their first choice will have their ballots invalidated.

Voters are also unable to select a candidate as their first, second and third choice. Only the first choice vote will be tabulated.

Ranked-choice voting can only occur if there are at least three candidates on the ballot.

a group of people sitting at a table © Provided by Fox News

Only four races will use ranked-choice voting

There are only four races where voters will use the ranked-choice system as there are more than two candidates in those races, according to the Maine secretary of state's office.

What to expect for June 12th primary in Nevada, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota

  What to expect for June 12th primary in Nevada, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota Voters in five states — Nevada, North Dakota, Maine, South Carolina and Virginia — will head to the polls Tuesday to determine their general election candidates in a slew of races.Here’s what we’re watching on Tuesday:

Maine ’s voting system was thrown into potential turmoil on Tuesday by a court opinion that said a process in which voters rank candidates rather than simply picking one — approved by voters in Last year, The New York Times examined Maine ’s decision to adopt ranked -choice voting .

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Monday that ranked -choice voting will be used in the June 12 primary after his office certified a people’s veto effort that thwarted the Legislature’s attempt to cancel the election system approved by voters in 2016.

Those races are: both Republican and Democratic nominations for governor, Democratic nomination for U.S. representative in the 2nd congressional district and the Republican nomination for the state legislature in House District 75.

Don’t expect to know the winners immediately

According the Bangor Daily News, Maine voters shouldn’t expected to know the first-round winners in all races immediately on election night because the state needs additional time to be able to retabulate the ranked-choice races.

For example, there are seven Democrats and four Republicans running in the respective gubernatorial primaries. And with a field that large, it’s unlikely one candidate will walk away with the majority in the first round, the Daily News reported.

Ballots will be brought to Augusta for tallying by couriers hired by the state, according to the newspaper.

New campaign strategies

The ranked-choice voting system has set off a new campaign strategy for two Democrats vying for the gubernatorial nomination.

Democrats Mark Eves and Betsy Sweet, both vying for governor, appeared in a campaign video together where they gushed about each other’s credentials and encouraged voters to select them both.

Maine’s governor is threatening not to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary

  Maine’s governor is threatening not to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary He called Maine’s new voting system “the most horrific thing in the world.” Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage has threatened not to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, because the state is using an entirely new system of voting.

As a result, Maine voters could simultaneously use the ranked -choice system to decide the primary winners of gubernatorial, congressional and legislative primaries this June even as they vote on whether to continue using the process in future elections.

meltdown in the current process , a more rational system is not likely any time soon. have primaries on the same day? These ideas seemed truly out to lunch in the days before computers. But these days, ranked voting is quite feasible—logistically that is.

“So on June 12, you can vote for me first and Betsy second,” Eves said with Sweet next to him.

“Or, me first and him second,” Sweet said.

Advocates of the system have pointed to this type of campaign style, saying it promotes civility in politics.

Not everyone likes it

Moving toward a ranked-choice voting system started as a bipartisan effort, but it has since become highly politicized with Republicans attempting to stop or delaying it in court.

In May, the Maine Republican Party filed a federal lawsuit to block the ranked-choice voting system from taking effect, the Portland Press-Herald reported. But by the end of the month, a federal judge denied the GOP’s request for a preliminary injunction stopping the process ahead of the primary election.

Some voters, such as Kent Long who already turned in an absentee ballot, have said they still plan to only vote for one person.

“We vote for whom we think is best,” Long told The Associated Press.

Fox News’ Molly Line and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Woman found dead in 1989 in Maine woods; case still unsolved .
The 1989 killing of a Maine woman, whose body was found in Franconia, has never been solved. Pamela Webb, 32, of Winthrop, Maine, has not been seen alive since July 1989.

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