A group trying to force a new statewide vote on ranked-choice voting said it has collected enough signatures to force a people’s veto referendum in June. The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting will submit signatures Friday to the Maine secretary of state in an effort to revive the voting system after the Legislature essentially blocked it last year. The committee has been collecting signatures from registered voters all over Maine in an effort to let Maine voters decide on a people’s veto of a bill enacted last year that delays implementation of ranked-choice voting until the Maine Constitution is amended to resolve conflicts between the law approved by voters in November 2016 and constitutional wording. A provision in the Maine Constitution requires a plurality vote — which simply means a candidate wins by receiving more votes than anyone else — in general elections for state offices.
If that amendment isn’t in place by December 2021, the 2016 law would be automatically repealed as a result of the bill passed by legislators during an October 2017 special session.
But that law seems in imminent danger of being repealed.
The committee needs at least 61,123 valid signatures to block the 2017 law and put Maine on track to using ranked-choice voting for federal elections and primaries. If Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap deems that ranked-choice voting advocates collected enough signatures to place the people’s veto on the June 12 ballot, the 2017 law would be placed on hold.