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Sen. Miramant's ranked-choice voting expansion bill receives public hearing

PenBay Pilot

AUGUSTA — Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, presented Wednesday a bill to expand the use of Ranked Choice Voting in Maine elections.

LD 202, “Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Implement Ranked-choice Voting,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs (VLA).

“Here in Maine, we’ve been using ranked-choice voting in many of our elections since 2018,” said Sen. Miramant. “The people of Maine have voted twice in the last five years to show their support for ranked-choice voting in our elections, including for the offices of governor and state legislature. We’ve had a long public education process, and we know that not only does this system work, but it works better than expected.”

This resolution proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to require candidates for the offices of Governor, State Senator and State Representative to be elected by a majority of the votes cast for that office. Currently, those offices are elected by a plurality of the votes cast.

In 2016, Maine voters adopted ranked-choice voting, including for the offices of governor and state legislature, by referendum. This voter-approved law was repealed by lawmakers in 2017. That repeal then was overturned by Maine’s voters in a second referendum in 2018. In 2019, the legislature expanded the ranked-choice system to include presidential primary and general elections.

Currently, ranked-choice voting is used in Maine for all elections to federal office and for presidential primaries.

LD 202 faces further action before the VLA Committee.

As a Constitutional Amendment, LD 202 would require two-thirds approval in both chambers of the Legislature and would be submitted to voters for a referendum at the next general election.

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