Posted by Ashley Houghton on August 25, 2020 at 10:41 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Anna Kellar, Executive Director
League of Women Voters of Maine
Ashley Houghton, Communications Director
League of Women Voters of Maine and FairVote Statements in Response to Judge’s Ruling on Ranked Choice Voting in Maine
August 25, 2020 –The League of Women Voters of Maine responded to a ruling last night that opponents to ranked choice voting had gathered enough signatures to hold a referendum on use of ranked choice voting for presidential elections and functionally block its use in the Maine presidential election this fall.
“If this ruling stands, Maine voters will vote on ranked choice voting for the third time in four years,” shared Anna Kellar, Executive Director for The League of Women Voters. “Mainers have already made their decision clear, year after year: they want ranked choice voting in their elections. Putting it on the ballot a third time will not change their minds.”
FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform in the United States, added a national perspective.
“We all want the same things from our elections: candidates want to run knowing their race won’t be ‘spoiled’ or held hostage by vote-splitting, and voters want to make choices based on their own convictions, not careful calculations about electability,” added Rob Richie, President and CEO of FairVote. “As cities and states across the country adopt ranked choice voting, we’re confident Mainers will continue to lead with this sensible electoral reform.”
The ruling may still be appealed by the Secretary of State and/or the intervenor the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting on an emergency basis, given that it would change how Maine evaluates signature gathering. The Maine state constitution requires those gathering signatures to be registered voters in the town where they are collected. The Secretary of State’s office has interpreted that provision to mean signature gatherers must be registered when they begin their efforts. Superior Court Judge Thomas McKeon ruled against that interpretation.
Ballots are scheduled to be printed on Friday. The ruling affects those ballots in two ways: giving voters a chance to use ranked choice voting in the presidential race and having the referendum question on the ballot.
The League of Women Voters of Maine is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
FairVote is a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.