A month after Maine’s highest court upheld the election-law shift, state Republicans brought a federal complaint Friday that casts the country’s first ranked-choice voting system as unconstitutional. Also known as instant-runoff voting, the system by which voters rank candidates by preference, rather than casting a ballot for them, was voted into law via ballot initiative in November 2016. Maine’s Republican Party tapped attorneys at Pierce Atwood for their court challenge to the so-called RCV Act on Friday. With election primaries scheduled for June 12, the party says it has a constitutional right to determine how nominees are selected, and that instant-runoff voting would frustrate this aim.
“The RCV Act severely burdens the party’s right to freedom of association under the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution,” the complaint states. “Specifically, it requires the party to change the process which the party has deemed most appropriate for selecting candidates to represent the party’s beliefs and messages. There is no compelling justification for imposing this burden on the party’s associational rights.”
While Maine became the first state to approve ranked-choice voting at the state level, the system has been used in municipal elections across the country, including in San Francisco; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Portland, Maine.
Full Article: Maine GOP Brings Federal Challenge to Ranked-Choice Voting.