Maine Voters Adopt Ranked Choice Voting

Posted on November 09, 2016

Lead the Way for More Choice, More Voice

EDITOR'S NOTE: Ranked choice voting is a voting system that gives voters the freedom to rank candidates in order of choice on a ballot. It is used in a dozen cities across the U.S. including San Francisco (CA), Minneapolis (MN), and Portland (ME). For more information on how ranked choice voting works, go to fairvote.org/rcv.

Question 5 passed in Maine by a margin of 52% to 48%. Benton County adopted ranked choice voting by 54% to 46%.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2016

CONTACT:

Kyle Bailey, Campaign Manager, Yes On 5 | kyle@rcvmaine.com

Jill Ward, President, League of Women Voters of Maine | jmward23@gmail.com

Michelle Whittaker, Director of Communications, FairVote | (301) 270-1238 | mwhittaker@fairvote.org

 

PORTLAND, MAINE — On November 8, Maine voters passed Question 5 and became the first state in the nation to adopt Ranked Choice Voting for state and federal elections. The Yes On 5 campaign was led by the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, a grassroots, Maine-based organization founded by former independent state senator Dick Woodbury of Yarmouth, and led by Kyle Bailey of Gorham.

“Passage of Question 5 is a historic victory for the people of Maine,” said campaign chair Dick Woodbury. “Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, and Libertarians across Maine understand that the system is broken, and they have taken an important step to help fix it.”

“Maine people have exercised their right to change the way we elect our leaders,” said campaign manager Kyle Bailey. “Question 5 levels the playing field for candidates with the best ideas and gives more choice and more voice to voters, so you never have to vote for the lesser of two evils.”

Question 5 was endorsed by over 500 civic, business, labor, and faith leaders and organizations, and newspapers across Maine. The campaign was supported by a politically diverse campaign committee and county co-chairs. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Maine endorsed Ranked Choice Voting in 2011 and convened a working group that drafted the law on which the initiative was based.

“Maine has not elected a governor to a first term with majority support since 1966,” said Jill Ward, President of the League of Women Voters of Maine. “Ranked Choice Voting restores majority rule and puts more power in the hands of voters.”

FairVote, a national organization that advocates for Ranked Choice Voting and other proven solutions to give more voice to voters, supported a project in Maine to educate voters about this reform.

“The adoption of Ranked Choice Voting in Maine marks a dramatic step forward for American democracy,” said FairVote executive director Rob Richie, “Maine's groundbreaking victory promises to inspire other states to embrace this better system.”

Under the new law, Ranked Choice Voting will take effect in Maine in 2018 for primary and general elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative. “The voters of Maine have spoken,” said Ward. “We’re ready to get to work to ensure that this new law is implemented efficiently and effectively, and that the will of the people is upheld.”

 

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