Articles about voting issues in Maine.

Maine: Petition approval puts Maine on track to use ranked-choice voting in June primaries | Bangor Daily News

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Monday that ranked-choice voting will be used in the June 12 primary after his office certified a people’s veto effort that thwarted the Legislature’s attempt to cancel the election system approved by voters in 2016. Dunlap deemed 66,687 of the approximately 77,000 submitted signatures to be valid, which means two things: Mainers will use ranked-choice voting in the primary and concurrently vote on whether to continue ranked-choice voting in the future. The people’s veto attempt certified Monday would nullify a law passed last year by legislators that at the time was seen as a death knell for ranked-choice voting. Instead, supporters of ranked-choice voting were able to exceed the people’s veto threshold for signatures in less than 90 days — but the long-term fate of the system depends on the June vote. Read More

Maine: Dunlap scoffs at voter fraud, vows to make ranked choice voting work if needed | Lewiston Sun Journal

After playing a big role in the demise of a national voter-fraud commission that he feared could limit access to the polls, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap was hailed by some as a hero. But he is not buying it. “I’m no Rosa Parks,” Dunlap told a crowd Wednesday at the Muskie Archives at Bates College. All Dunlap did, he said, was ask for a meeting schedule and some information any member of the commission ought to possess. After a court agreed he should get the data, President Donald Trump pulled the plug on the commission. Dunlap called his seven-month membership on the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity a “strange journey” that is not quite over because he is still suing the panel to get his hands on information the White House did not want him to have. Read More

Maine: U.S. too passive, vulnerable to elections cyberthreat, Sen. King says | Portland Press Herald

U.S. Sen. Angus King is warning that not enough has been done to secure electoral systems across the country from cyberattacks by Russia or other foreign adversaries, and he says President Trump has been making the situation worse by dismissing the threat rather than marshaling a coordinated federal response. “This is such a major threat, and it takes presidential leadership to coordinate an all-of-government response,” said King, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and beyond. “The CIA, the director of national intelligence, the secretaries of state – these are all pieces, and it takes executive leadership to pull the pieces together and do it. He hasn’t done that.” Read More

Maine: Court Urged to Institute Ranked-Choice Voting | Courthouse News

Vying to implement ranked-choice voting by the June primaries, Maine political candidates have asked a court to institute the nation’s first electoral system where voters rank candidates by preference rather than casting a ballot for them. The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting and eight candidates filed the suit on Feb. 16 in Kennebec Superior Court, quoting Secretary Matthew Dunlap as stating weeks earlier that he planned to delay enactment of the new system, which is also known as instant runoff. Represented by the Portland firm Bernstein Shur, the candidates claim that they are “left guessing which method of election will decide their respective races.” Read More

Maine: Ranked-choice voting backers file suit to ensure system is used in June | Bangor Daily News

Supporters of ranked-choice voting in Maine — joined by eight Democratic candidates — filed a lawsuit Friday to ensure that the voting method is in place in time for the June primaries. The lawsuit comes more than two weeks before the deadline for Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat, to certify signatures designed to place on the June 12 ballot a referendum question that could decide the long-term fate of ranked-choice voting. The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting announced Friday afternoon that it has filed a suit in Kennebec County Superior Court. One candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, six gubernatorial candidates and a Maine Senate candidate signed onto the lawsuit. Read More

Maine: Ranked choice voting ball back in Legislature’s court | The Ellsworth American

Three and a half months ago, Maine legislators passed a bill that provoked instant pushback from ranked choice voting (RCV) supporters. The result was an apparently successful bid to repeal portions of that law. Now the Legislature may be faced with a new task related to changing Maine’s vote-count system: funding it. A people’s veto petition to repeal the bill delaying the implementation of RCV to 2021 was submitted to Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s office Feb. 2. The effort appears to have enough signatures to send the measure to a June referendum. Read More

Maine: Ranked-choice voters submit signatures for ‘people’s veto’ ballot initiative | Portland Press Herald

Supporters of ranked-choice voting submitted more than 80,000 signatures Friday to send the issue back to the Maine ballot in June after lawmakers voted to delay and potentially repeal the law. In November 2016, voters approved a ballot initiative that would make Maine the first state in the nation to implement ranked-choice voting. But lawmakers passed a law delaying the effective date until December 2021 and then repealing the ranked-choice voting process altogether if a constitutional amendment hasn’t been passed by then to address legal concerns. Read More

Maine: Ranked-choice supporters say they have enough signatures to force a new vote | Bangor Daily News

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. Read More

Maine: Secretary of state to fight for voting panel documents | Associated Press

Maine’s top election official vowed Monday to continue his legal fight for records from the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity on which he served. A judge previously ruled that Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, a Democrat, was entitled to the documents, but the commission rejected his request after President Donald Trump disbanded the panel last week. Dunlap, who accused the panel of operating under a cloak of secrecy, said he was especially concerned by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ comment that the commission’s preliminary findings were being forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, which will take over the work. He said he was unaware of any “preliminary findings.” Read More

Maine: Trump refuses to release documents to Maine secretary of state despite judge’s order | Portland Press Herald

President Trump’s decision last week to pull the plug on his troubled voter fraud commission was partly the result of Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap’s effort to force the body to behave in a transparent and bipartisan manner, a struggle that gained intensity Saturday, when Dunlap learned the administration would not be turning over working documents to him as a federal judge had ordered. Trump killed the commission – which was mired in lawsuits, infighting among commissioners, and an organizational culture so secretive it had refused to tell its own membership if and when it would meet again – “rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense,” according to a White House statement. Read More