The Coastal Packet: Ranked choice voting update

Tuesday, June 13

Ranked choice voting update

League of Women Voters of Maine - Since the adverse opinion from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on May 23, the Maine legislature has been considering how to reconcile the Ranked Choice Voting law with the constitution and to reconcile the constitution with the RCV law passed by Maine voters. Two new RCV bills are moving forward: one introduced by Senator Cathy Breen (D-Falmouth) would amend the constitution to eliminate the obstacle to full implementation of RCV; the other introduced by Senator Garrett Mason (R-Lisbon) would repeal the RCV law in total.

These two bills got their public hearing in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on June 2, where public support was universally in favor of RCV. Last Friday the Committee held a work session on these bills, and we anticipate three-way divided reports from the committee on both bills.

Here's the bottom line:
  • On LD 1624, we support a constitutional amendment to permit ranked choice voting in state elections. We expect a VLA committee amendment to that effect based on League testimony, and once we have seen final language, we expect to endorse it.
  • On LD 1625, we strenuously oppose efforts to repeal the RCV law in total. We expect a VLA committee amendment, again based on League testimony, to allow RCV to go forward in primary elections and in general elections for federal office, while suspending application of RCV to general elections for state offices until such time as we have a constitutional amendment to permit them. Once we have seen final language, we expect to endorse it. We strongly urge the legislature to amend the RCV law to allow implementation in 2018 for those elections that are permitted by the Supreme Court's advisory opinion.

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