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Maine eyes constitutional amendment for more ranked-choice voting

The Associated Press :: Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to expand the use of a ranked voting system in Maine has succeeded in committee and will move on to the full legislature.

Maine uses ranked-choice voting for offices such as U.S. senator and U.S. representative. However, the system has not been adopted in state races because of concerns that it doesn’t square with the state constitution.

The Maine Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee approved a proposal by a count of 6-4 on Friday that could change that. Democratic Sen. David Miramant’s proposal calls for an amendment to the constitution to implement ranked voting more broadly.

Miramant said his proposal would extend ranked voting to offices such as governor and state legislature seats. The constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds approval by both chambers of the legislature and then it would need to be approved by state voters.

Ranked choice voting allows voters to choose an order of preference for candidates in races where there are more than two people running. Votes are redistributed to second choices if no one cracks 50 percent.

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