After ranked-choice voting helped Democrats defeat two-term Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in November, it’s perhaps no surprise that GOP leaders are eyeing the possibility of wiping away the new voting method. “We must go after this bad precedent,” former Gov. Paul LePage wrote recently to members of the Republican state committee. The two GOP leaders in the state Senate and the state House urged Republican officials to pick former state Sen. Garrett Mason of Lisbon as the next party chair in part because he can raise the money necessary to “directly assist with campaigns, such as the repeal of ranked choice voting.”
It isn’t clear, though, how Republican critics of Maine’s new voting system for primaries and federal elections might proceed in any effort to reverse the change to ranked-choice voting, which received the blessing of Maine voters who were asked at the polls on two occasions whether they supported it.
The state Democratic Party chair, Phil Bartlett, said Friday that “despite Maine Republicans’ attempts to sabotage ranked-choice voting in the Legislature and sow fear to the public, it’s clear to Mainers that RCV was a resounding success — both in the primary and the general election.”