Introduction

In 2016, Maine voters approved Question 5, the Ranked Choice Voting Act, which stated that all primary and general elections for governor, state legislature and federal congressional offices would use ranked choice voting (RCV) to establish a winner. After two years of litigation and modifications, Maine implemented RCV for the 2018 primary election and has continued to use it in both primary and general elections ever since.

While Maine was not the first jurisdiction to implement RCV, it was the first to do so for legislative and executive positions at a statewide level, and the highly contested race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018 shone a spotlight on the RCV process. Since that time, RCV has spread to other local jurisdictions and has been adopted in a different form statewide in Alaska. Though not exhaustive, concerns about RCV tend to fall into three broad categories:

1. It is too complicated for voters to understand.

2. It eliminates genuine binary choices between two top-tier candidates.

3. It disenfranchises voters by creating manufactured majorities.

Press release: Multiple Election Cycles in Maine Highlight Voters’ Successful Embrace of Ranked Choice Voting

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