Got questions? We’ve got answers.
What’s happening now?
On March 5th, the People’s Veto signatures were certified by Matt Dunlap, the Secretary of State. This means that Ranked Choice Voting will be used in the June 12th primary election. You, the voter, will have the chance to vote for candidates in the order of your preference instead of just a single vote. Candidates are changing the way they appeal to voters, and election officials are preparing for the change. The Maine Uses Ranked Choice Voting project will be there to make sure implementation goes smoothly in the best traditions of democracy in Maine.
What is Ranked Choice Voting?
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a system of voting in which voters rank candidates in the order of their preference. The candidate who receives a majority of the votes (50% + 1 vote) is declared the winner.
How does RCV work?
Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) is a system of voting in which voters rank candidates in the order of their preference. Votes are counted in rounds where last-place candidates are eliminated and your vote always counts for your top-ranked candidate who is still in the running. If a candidate emerges with a majority (50% + 1 vote) of first choice votes, the election is decided in the first round. If no candidate receives a majority of first preferences, the candidate(s) with the lowest number of first preferences is eliminated and the contest continues to the second round. If you voted for a candidate who remains in the race, your ballot still counts for that candidate. If your favorite candidate was eliminated, your ballot now counts for your second choice candidate. This process continues through as many rounds as it takes to find a majority winner.
Why should I rank my vote?
Ranking your vote allows you, the voter, to express your preference of each candidate represented on the ballot. That way, if your first-choice candidate doesn’t win, you can still have your second or third choice counted.
Will RCV change how candidates campaign?
Previous races using ranked choice voting have shown that candidates are more likely to be issue-driven and take part in civil discourse instead of smear campaigns. It gives candidates stronger incentives to appeal to a larger percentage of their constituency, in order to work to win the second choice pick from voters.