News Release

For First Time Ever, Ranked Voting for Presidential Race: Maine is Set to Have It, Why Won’t Everyone?

ROB RICHIE, rr@fairvote.org and via Ashley Houghton, ahoughton@fairvote.org, @fairvote
Richie is president and CEO of FairVote, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for electoral reform. Houghton is communications director for the group. He said today: “Barring unlikely legal outcomes, for the first time in U.S. history, voters will consider a field of more than two presidential candidates without any finger pointing about ‘spoilers.’ Every voter in Maine will be able to vote for the candidate they like the most without fear of helping electing the candidate they like the least. And Mainers will be sure their electoral votes go to candidates who have truly earned them.”

“Opponents of ranked choice voting have tried to roll back progress again and again, but this battle is over. Mainers stand by this reform: we’ve voted for it, we’ve fought for it, and we’re ready for it,” shared Anna Kellar, executive director for The League of Women Voters. “Finally, Mainers will have greater choices and stronger voices this November.”

Ritchie added: “Maine has undergone a multi-year legislative and legal battle to allow Mainers to rank candidates in elections. Maine first passed a state-wide ranked choice voting ballot measure in 2016, allowing voters to rank candidates in federal and state elections. Mainers then successfully used ranked choice voting to vote for statewide and federal offices in 2018 and legislation expanding the system to presidential primary and general elections passed August 30, 2019.

“In Maine, electoral votes are decided based on the votes cast in each congressional district as well as statewide. Recent polls suggest that the presidential vote in the second congressional districts may result in an instant runoff tabulation to determine that electoral vote; in 2016, Maine was won statewide by Hillary Clinton with less than half the vote.”

See: “Ranked Choice Voting 101” and  “Ranked Choice Voting In Use Across America.”