Maine lawmakers are overhauling or set to repeal each of the four citizen-initiated laws that passed in November. Those actions have left some wondering if the voice of the voters is as sacrosanct as it once was. It also reveals the tension between activists and voters frustrated with the pace of change and elected officials who believe the citizen initiative has undercut their role as lawmakers. “The effort to repeal ranked choice voting is a slap in your face from politicians who think they know better than you. It’s time to tell the politicians in Augusta that we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” says Kyle Bailey to his fellow ranked-choice voting supporters at a rally in front of the State House last month.
Bailey was campaign manager for the successful Ranked Choice Voting Committee and while this group is obviously mad as hell, they’re not alone.
Last month, the Maine Supreme Court found that a key part of the ranked choice voting law is unconstitutional. The Legislature could send a constitutional amendment to voters to fix that problem, but there doesn’t appear to be enough support from lawmakers to do that.