Posted by Rich Robinson on November 15, 2018 at 9:48 AM

November 15, 2018

Contact: Rich Robinson at [email protected] or 301-270-4616

Large Majority of Maine Voters Want to Keep Ranked Choice Voting and Find it Easy

Exit Survey Also Finds Majority of GOP Voters Say Having a Majority Winner is Important, Ranking the Ballot Was Easy

TAKOMA PARK, Md. -- Contrary to claims made by U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, an exit survey finds that Maine voters support ranked choice voting (RCV) and were not confused about the ballots. Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats believe it is “very important” to have majority winners.

The poll, conducted on Election Day by the Bangor Daily News -- in partnership with Colby College and FairVote -- reveals more than three-in-five voters (60.9 percent) favor either expanding RCV for other elections in the state or, keeping the current level of usage. A majority (53.4 percent) favor expansion, while only 39.1 percent support stopping use of RCV.

“On election day, voters in Maine continued to voice their support for an expansion of the use of ranked choice voting,” said Carrie LeVan, assistant professor of Government at Colby College. “This is consistent with the level of support Maine voters have demonstrated when they first approved RCV by a ballot initiative in 2016 and when Maine Voters overturned the legislative repeal of that ballot initiative in 2018.”

Voters were also asked how easy it was to mark their ballots. A large majority, including a majority of Republicans, say ranking ballots was “very easy” or somewhat easy” (74.2 percent total, including 56.4 percent of GOP voters, 87.1 Democrats). Only one-in-ten say ranking the ballot was “somewhat hard” or “very hard.”

A large majority of Republicans (70.7 percent) also agree that having candidates win with a majority of support from voters is either “very important” or “somewhat important.” Nearly 53 percent of Republicans say it is “very important.” Just over 92 percent of Democrats agree that it is “very important” or “somewhat important;” 73 percent responded “very important.”

"This poll shows that protecting ranked choice voting is a nonpartisan priority,” said Jill Ward, president, League of Women Voters of Maine. “Above all else, Mainers want and value a system that makes sure everyone's voice is heard and supports majority elections.”

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