On September 6, Maine Governor Janet Mills allowed legislation to go into effect that cements Maine as the first state to use ranked choice voting (RCV) in the 2020 presidential general election.
This historic first, precipitated by months of activism by organizations like the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, empowers Maine voters by allowing them to vote their conscience in presidential elections.
By ensuring that no third party candidate splits the vote and that the winner of Maine’s electoral votes actually has majority support in any particular congressional district (Maine apportions electoral votes by congressional district), RCV provides adequate representation for all citizens of Maine.
In a press release, FairVote President and CEO Rob Richie expressed his support, saying, “This is a tremendous victory for our democracy.”
In 2016, Maine—which has a history of strong independent and 3rdparty candidates—backed Hillary Clinton, though she only won 47.8 percent of the vote. Implementing RCV ensures that the candidate who wins Maine in 2020 is truly palatable to the majority of Mainers.
Because Gov. Mills let the bill go into effect without signing it, RCV will not be used in Maine’s March 2020 presidential primary. It will, however, be used in all future Maine presidential primaries.
We applaud the efforts of Maine activists and legislators in working tirelessly to promote this bill and, in the process, fight for a better and more representative democracy.