Portland Voters Overwhelmingly Support Ranked Choice Voting

November 03, 2015

Contact:
Douglas Clopp
207-622-7083

84% of voters rank at least 2 candidates

Portland, ME  — An exit survey in Portland (ME) conducted by the nonpartisan civic organization FairVote demonstrated that city voters overwhelmingly support Portland’s use of ranked choice voting in mayoral elections, find it easy to use, and are increasing the power of their vote by ranking candidates. The city today held its second mayoral election with ranked choice voting, with incumbent mayor Michael Brennan facing two challengers.

FairVote surveyed Portland voters at City Hall during absentee voting on Thursday, October 29 and at the Reiche School, in Portland's West End on Election Day. As of 8pm on Election Day, a total of 254 voters have been surveyed. The results to-date reveal that voters have a strong understanding of ranked choice voting (RCV) and strongly support it in Portland:

Below are the initial results from the survey on three key questions:

How difficult or easy did you find the concept of ranking candidates?

Very Easy

181

72.4%

Easy

46

18.4%

Neither

19

7.6%

Difficult/Very Difficult

5

2.0%

 

In the election for mayor, did you:

Not Vote

10

3.9%

Rank 1

30

11.8%

Rank 2 or more

214

84.3%

 

Do you support or oppose using RCV for Portland mayoral elections? 

Support / 
Strongly Support

183

73.2%

Oppose / 
Strongly oppose

19

7.6%

Neither

48

19.2%

 

Would you like to see RCV used in state elections in Maine?

Support / 
Strongly Support

176

70.4%

Oppose / 
Strongly oppose

23

9.2%

Neither

51

20.4%

 

Complete data, including responses to all 16 survey questions, will be posted to FairVote’s website on November 4th.

FairVote is a nonpartisan, national electoral reform and research organization based in Takoma Park, MD.  It assists with implementation of innovative voting systems such  as ranked choice voting and conducted a similar survey in 2011 in Portland.

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