Articles about voting issues in Maine.

Maine: Secretary of state says he will reject second request for voter registration data | Portland Press Herald

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Monday that he is unlikely to release any state voter registration data to the federal voter fraud commission to which he was appointed by President Trump. Dunlap said he will reject a second request for the data from the commission’s vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who promised last week that the data would be held in confidence at the federal level. But Dunlap said he is uncertain that the federal Freedom of Information Act would allow the data to be protected from disclosure once it is in the federal government’s hands. He said he wants the commission, to which he was appointed in May, to first set goals for what it hopes to achieve as it investigates Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud. Read More

Maine: Dunlap balks at Trump fraud panel’s new request for Maine voter data | Bangor Daily News

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap’s office said Thursday that a second request for state voting data from President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission raises concerns about the panel’s work. The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity’s vice chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent letters to Maine and other states on Wednesday seeking personal voter information. It’s similar to a June request to all states that was rejected by Dunlap’s office. However, Kobach’s second request says identifiable voter information won’t be made public — only summarized — and will be deleted by the federal government when the panel is done. His first request said identifiable information would be public. Read More

Maine: Legislature poised to take one more shot at fixing ranked-choice voting law | Portland Press Herald

Maine lawmakers will make a final effort in the closing days of the legislative session to act on a citizen-backed ballot law that gives Maine a first-in-the-nation ranked-choice voting system. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kent Ackley, an independent from Monmouth, would allow ranked-choice voting for party primaries and Maine’s congressional seats. But it would set aside the part of the law, which was supported by 51 percent of the voters in November, that calls for ranked-choice voting in general elections for the Legislature and the governor’s office. Under the new law, voters will rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate wins more than 50 percent of the first-place votes, the candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated. Read More

Maine: Ranked choice voting stays alive in Maine for now | Associated Press

Ranked choice voting is unconstitutional, according to Maine’s Supreme Court, yet it’s still the law of the land. Lawmakers were recently unable to agree on modifying or killing the voter-approved law, meaning it stays on the books. It’s the option that several Democratic and Republican lawmakers and officials said no one wants, creating a blueprint for a possible lawsuit against the state. Ranked choice voting is when voters rank the candidates in order of preference instead of voting for a single candidate. Maine is the only state in the nation with such a system. Read More

Maine: Secretary of state now says Maine will not provide voter information to fraud panel | Portland Press Herald

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has changed course and decided against releasing detailed information about every registered voter in the state to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. Dunlap said he met Monday with Attorney General Janet Mills and she advised him that releasing Maine’s Central Voter Registration files to the commission would violate state laws that protect personal voter-registration data from being made public. On Friday, Dunlap had said he would provide the commission with some information that was identified as publicly available. The request, dated June 28, was made to all 50 states by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the commission’s vice chair. Read More

Maine: Voter-approved ranked-choice voting stays in effect as repeal bills fail | Portland Press Herald

A voter-approved law making Maine the first state in the nation to used ranked-choice voting for statewide elections will stay in effect until at least next year after two legislative efforts to repeal it were unsuccessful Wednesday. The Legislature was attempting to respond to a May advisory opinion from the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that found the parts of the law that applied to races for the governor’s office and Legislature were unconstitutional. A House bill would have left ranked-choice voting in state primary elections and those for Maine’s congressional seats, but not for legislative and gubernatorial races unless the Legislature approved a constitutional amendment to allow ranked-choice voting and state voters ratified it. The Senate version, which had Republican and Democratic support, would have repealed the ballot law completely. Read More

Maine: Ranked-choice voting supporters consider people’s veto if legislature scraps law | Bangor Daily News

Supporters of Maine’s first-in-the-nation ranked-choice voting law say they could launch a people’s veto effort to keep the initiative alive. While approved by voters last fall, the law ran into constitutional problems, and could be scuttled by the Legislature. The threat of a people’s veto adds another layer of complexity to a political stalemate. The ranked-choice voting law ran into a legal problem. After it was approved, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued an opinion finding that the law was unconstitutional for use in general elections for governor or the Legislature. Read More

Maine: Lawmakers divided over ranked-choice voting | Portland Press Herald

The Maine House and Senate passed conflicting versions of ranked-choice voting legislation Tuesday, making the future of the first-in-the-nation, voter-approved measure uncertain. The Senate voted Tuesday morning to repeal the ranked-choice voting law. The 21-13 vote came after the state’s highest court gave an advisory opinion that electing members of the Legislature and the governor by ranked choice did not comply with the Maine Constitution, which calls for the winners of those elections to be selected by a plurality of voters. But just moments after the Senate action, and with no debate, the House of Representatives voted 79-66 to leave parts of the law intact for primary voting and congressional elections. The House bill also leaves open the door to ranked-choice voting for governor and the Legislature if a constitutional amendment is passed in the future. Read More

Maine: Constitutional amendment to fix ranked-choice voting falters in Maine House | Portland Press Herald

A potential fix to the constitutional concerns raised about Maine’s new ranked-choice voting system faltered in the Maine House on Friday. The 78-68 House vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to present voters with a proposed constitutional amendment on a ranked-choice voting process that fundamentally changes the way Maine voters elect legislators, governors and members of Congress. Lawmakers voted largely along party lines, with Democrats supporting sending the constitutional amendment to voters and Republicans opposing the measure. Although 52 percent of Mainers voted to approve switching to a ranked-choice system last November – making Maine the first state to do so – the Supreme Judicial Court issued a unanimous advisory opinion last month that said the process would violate Maine’s Constitution. That has left lawmakers with two major options: either repeal the ranked-choice voting law approved by voters, or give voters a chance to change Maine’s Constitution to address the court’s concerns. Read More

Maine: Senate sets aside legislation to repeal ranked-choice voting law | Portland Press Herald

The Maine Senate tabled a bill Wednesday that would have repealed a citizens initiative passed in November that made Maine the first state in the nation to adopt a statewide ranked-choice voting system. Senators then voted unanimously, without a roll call tally, to give initial approval to a bill that would amend the Maine Constitution – if approved by two-thirds of the Legislature and by voters – to resolve issues with the new law identified by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Its advisory opinion in May found that parts of the new law violated the state constitution, which calls for candidates in races for the Legislature and the governor’s office to be elected by a plurality of voters – the most votes – and not necessarily a majority of voters – at least 50 percent – as they would be under a ranked-choice system. But the opinion did not address ranked-choice voting in Maine’s federal elections or party primary elections, and supporters have argued the law should stand for those races while the Legislature and then voters decide if the constitution should be amended. Read More