Voices & Choices

Maine’s primary election is a lot more important than you think

Maine’s primary election is a lot more important than you think

In his latest in Vox, Lee Drutman accurately points to the upcoming election in Maine as a crucial one for proponents of electoral reform in the United States.

He writes, “If Maine implements ranked-choice voting, over the objection of threatened political incumbents, it could set an important precedent for the nation, building momentum for a much-needed reform to our broken electoral system.”

Ranked choice voting (RCV) is used in more than a dozen cities across the country, but should the RCV referendum pass, Maine will be the first state in the nation to use it to vote for its members of Congress and to nominate all state offices in primary elections.

The fact that advocates gathered enough signatures to put the referendum on the ballot alone ensures that Maine will use ranked choice voting to nominate candidates for all of its state offices in the same primary election in which they will vote on whether to keep RCV for the ensuing general elections. That’s a good thing, because this year’s race for the chief executive in Maine a crowded one, featuring more than two dozen candidates vying for the job.

This will be the second time that Maine citizens will vote on whether they want RCV for their elections. In November 2016, Maine voters passed Question 5 and became the first state in the nation to adopt RCV for state and federal elections.

Drutman’s full piece can be read here.

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