Got questions? We’ve got answers.
What’s happening now?
On June 12th, Maine became the first state in the nation to used Ranked Choice Voting in a statewide election. Mainers also voted on a people’s veto to continue the use of RCV for primary elections and general elections for US House of Representatives and US Senate going forward. We will not use ranked choice voting in the general elections races for governor and state legislature. We would need a constitutional amendment to allow that for the future.
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. Read More Here.
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.