Voices & Choices

Maine Court can't thwart the people's will

Maine Court can't thwart the people's will


May 23, 2017


Jill Ward, president of the Maine League of Women Voters, 207-317-6310
Kyle Bailey with The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, 207-939-8600


Maine’s Supreme Court today issued an advisory opinion stating its belief that ranked choice voting (RCV) is in conflict with the Maine state constitution when applied to general elections for governor and state legislature.

The law, however, does remain fully in effect. This ruling has no binding impact and does not apply to use of RCV for all of Maine’s congressional and state primaries in 2018 and its U.S. Senate and U.S. House elections in November 2018.

“Maine voters embraced ranked choice voting because they wanted a stronger voice, more civil campaigns, and to reform our toxic politics. This opinion must not stand in the way of the will of the people. We call on the Maine legislature to uphold the will of the people and support a constitutional amendment to enact RCV for all statewide elections in Maine. Ranked choice voting is also still plainly constitutional for major offices in Maine, including elections for U.S. Senate and U.S. House. Those elections have been affected by split-votes in the past, and will benefit from the use of ranked choice voting going forward.”

“We look forward to working with the coalition on the ground in Maine on a successful implementation of ranked choice voting in 2018 -- and on building even more national momentum for this proven and constitutional reform to give voters more power.”

Ranked choice voting remains on the move nationally: This year 19 other states had legislation on ranked choice voting, and chambers supporting its use in federal offices included the Utah House of Representatives and Hawaii House of Representatives.

For comment on the response on the ground in Maine, please contact Jill Ward, president of the League of Women Voters of Maine at 207-317-6310 or Kyle Bailey with the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting at 207-939-8600.


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