ranked choice voting

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Maine: Republicans may seek to overturn ranked-choice voting | Lewiston Sun Journal

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.”

Full Article: Republicans may seek to overturn ranked-choice voting | Lewiston Sun Journal.

Maryland: Legislation would allow ‘ranked choice’ voting in Baltimore, a new way of counting ballots | Baltimore Sun

Baltimore could become part of a growing movement that would offer more voters a chance to participate in its Democratic primaries and a new way to determine the winners. The Maryland General Assembly will consider a bill to allow the Baltimore City Council to establish open primary elections, as well as “ranked choice” voting for primary or general elections. Del. Brooke Lierman, a Democrat who represents southeast Baltimore, prefiled the legislation ahead of Wednesday’s start of the 90-day General Assembly session. It would authorize the Baltimore City Council to adopt such voting systems, if a majority of council members want to. “If we had ranked choice voting everywhere, our democracy would look so much better,” Lierman says.

Full Article: Legislation would allow 'ranked choice' voting in Baltimore, a new way of counting ballots - Baltimore Sun.

Vermont: Lawmakers to propose ranked-choice voting in upcoming session | VTDigger

The upcoming legislative session will see a push among some lawmakers to change the way Vermonters cast their ballots during elections. Legislators in the House and Senate plan on introducing bills that would institute a ranked-choice voting system in Vermont. Champions of ranked-choice voting argue the system leads to a more accurate reflection of public opinion in election results, by requiring winners to receive the majority of voter support or face a “run off”. Sibilia plans on spearheading an effort in the House to pass a ranked-choice bill into law. Sen. Chris Pearson, D/P Chittenden, will also be introducing a a ranked-choice bill in the Senate.

Full Article: Lawmakers to propose ranked-choice voting in upcoming session - VTDigger.

Maine: Governor Writes ‘Stolen Election’ On Certification For Democrat Congressman-Elect | Newsweek

After a lengthy recount process and two-month legal battle in the election of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed the certifying letter Democrat Jared Golden as the new member to Congress. But LePage put his own personal stamp on the certificate. Next to his PRL initials, LePage wrote “Stolen Election.” He sent a tweet with the photo and yet another remark for the world to see. “I’ve signed off on the CD2 election result as it’s no longer in federal court. Ranked Choice Voting didn’t result in a true majority as promised-simply a plurality measured differently. It didn’t keep big money out of politics & didn’t result in a more civil election #mepolitics”

Full Article: Maine Governor Writes ‘Stolen Election’ On Certification For Democrat Congressman-Elect.

Maine: LePage, calling ranked-choice voting ‘repugnant,’ hasn’t certified Golden’s win. But it may not matter. | Portland Press Herald

Gov. Paul LePage declined to get involved in Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s latest legal request, but not without getting in another dig at a ranked-choice voting process he views as “repugnant.” Meanwhile, attorneys for Poliquin and Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap sparred over whether Dunlap exceeded his authority by certifying Democrat Jared Golden as the winner of Maine’s 2nd District race without LePage’s signature. “Under the U.S. Constitution, it is now up to the United States House of Representatives to determine, when it convenes on January 3, 2019, whether to seat Jared Golden, who is the undisputed winner of the ranked-choice voting tabulation under the RCV Act and thus the Representative-elect for Maine’s Second Congressional District,” Assistant Attorney General Phyllis Gardiner wrote on Dunlap’s behalf.

Full Article: LePage, calling ranked-choice voting ‘repugnant,’ hasn't certified Golden's win. But it may not matter. - Portland Press Herald.

Maine: Rep. Poliquin to appeal ruling upholding his loss in ranked-choice election | Portland Press Herald

Rep. Bruce Poliquin is appealing a recent federal judge’s rejection of his lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting. Poliquin and three other residents of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District filed a notice of appeal Monday, four days after a U.S. District Court judge dismissed his constitutional arguments and refused to order a new election. Attorneys for Poliquin said they plan to file a brief Tuesday with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The two-term Republican lost the 2nd District election to Democratic Rep.-elect Jared Golden in the nation’s first use of ranked-choice voting to decide a congressional race. Poliquin trails Golden by more than 3,500 votes and has sought to overturn an election process that his campaign claims was confusing for many voters and potentially violated the U.S. Constitution.

Full Article: Rep. Poliquin to appeal ruling upholding his loss in ranked-choice election - Portland Press Herald.

Maine: Poliquin ends recount but may still appeal court decision upholding ranked-choice voting | Portland Press Herald

Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Friday ended the hand recount of ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race, but might still appeal a federal judge’s ruling on his constitutional challenge of ranked-choice voting. In a statement, Poliquin pointed out that he captured the most votes on Election Day – a fact that has never been in question – but said he is ending the recount. With more than 50 percent of the recount complete, Poliquin had yet to pick up a substantial number of votes in the ranked-choice runoff that would allow him to surpass Democratic Rep.-elect Jared Golden. Poliquin, a two-term Republican, trails Golden by more than 3,500 votes following the nation’s first use of ranked-choice voting to decide a congressional election.

Full Article: Poliquin ends recount but may still appeal court decision upholding ranked-choice voting - Portland Press Herald.

Maine: Recount Is a Low-Drama Affair — Unlike the Election | Roll Call

Maine lawyers Benjamin Grant and Joshua Tardy are used to being holed up together. For at least eight hours a day over the past week, they’ve rubbed shoulders in a cramped conference room in Augusta, overseeing the hand recount of the nearly 300,000 ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd District. “We’re like Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner,” Tardy joked. “You gotta have each other.” Grant, a Democrat, and Tardy, a Republican, have handled most of the state House and Senate recounts in the Pine Tree State for the past decade. GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin requested the recount of the 2nd District after losing to Democrat Jared Golden last month under the new ranked-choice voting system.  The mechanics of this recount are slightly different, but the intimacy of the process — with opposing campaigns examining paper ballots side by side — is similar to what happens across the country when the counting, for one reason or another, must begin anew. 

Full Article: Maine Recount Is a Low-Drama Affair — Unlike the Election.

Maine: Judge rules out new election for Poliquin in decision upholding Maine’s ranked-choice voting | Portland Press Herald

A federal judge on Thursday rejected Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s constitutional claims against ranked-choice voting and denied the incumbent’s request for a new election against Democratic Rep.-elect Jared Golden. U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker ruled that, contrary to the arguments of Poliquin’s legal team, the U.S. Constitution does not require that whichever congressional candidate receives the most votes – or “a plurality” – be declared the winner. Instead, Walker ruled the Constitution grants states broad discretion to run elections and that “there is nothing inherently improper about an election that requires a contestant to achieve victory by a majority,” including by the use of the ranked-choice runoff system endorsed twice by Maine voters. “To the extent that the Plaintiffs call into question the wisdom of using RCV, they are free to do so but . . . such criticism falls short of constitutional impropriety,” Walker wrote. “A majority of Maine voters have rejected that criticism and Article I (of the U.S. Constitution) does not empower this Court to second guess the considered judgment of the polity on the basis of the tautological observation that RCV may suffer from problems, as all voting systems do.”

Full Article: Judge rules out new election for Poliquin in decision upholding Maine's ranked-choice voting - Portland Press Herald.

Maine: With 2nd District recount set to start, judge says he’ll rule soon on ranked-choice challenge | Portland Press Herald

A federal judge is expected to decide within the next few days whether Maine’s first-in-the-nation ranked-choice election for Congress will stand.  Attorneys for Rep. Bruce Poliquin and the Maine Attorney General’s Office argued in federal court Wednesday over the constitutionality of Maine’s voting law and the election process that propelled Jared Golden, a Democrat, to a victory over the two-term Republican incumbent Poliquin in the race to represent state’s more northern and rural 2nd U.S. Congressional District. Poliquin’s lawyers are asking U.S. District Judge Lance Walker to rule that the law, passed by voters in November 2016 and affirmed with a citizens’ veto vote in June, violates the U.S. Constitution. They are arguing that Poliquin should either be declared the winner based on the fact he won the plurality of votes in the first round of counting or that there should be a special election, or runoff, between Golden and Poliquin.

Full Article: With 2nd District recount set to start, judge says he'll rule soon on ranked-choice challenge - Portland Press Herald.

Maine: Long recount could leave Maine’s 2nd District seat vacant when Congress begins new term | Central Maine

The recount that began Thursday in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race could leave the seat vacant and the district without representation when Congress convenes in January. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and a Republican House staff member involved in the seating decision issued conflicting opinions on the matter Thursday, making it uncertain whether Maine will have a 2nd District representative if the recount isn’t completed before new members of Congress are sworn in Jan. 3. Workers from the Maine Secretary of State’s Office gathered in a converted conference room Thursday and started the arduous task of hand-counting the 300,000 ballots cast in the election, which saw Democratic challenger Jared Golden beat incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin by about 3,500 votes. Poliquin asked for the recount on Nov. 26 after Golden was declared the winner. Poliquin also has filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the ranked-choice voting system.

Full Article: Long recount could leave Maine’s 2nd District seat vacant when Congress begins new term - CentralMaine.com.

Maine: Poliquin’s election challenge faces long odds | Portland Press Herald

Lawyers for Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and the Democrat who defeated him will square off in federal court Wednesday in a case with ramifications far beyond Maine’s rural, sprawling 2nd District no matter the outcome. For U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Golden and supporters of ranked-choice voting, the election ended two weeks ago after the Democrat emerged from an instant runoff leading Poliquin by 3,509 votes. Yet Poliquin and his team are aiming for more than just a reversal of the election results as they push to make Maine the national, legal test case for ranked-choice voting in any federal election. “Whether a state can go beyond a plurality that is currently provided for in (the Constitution) is an open question the Supreme Court has never decided,” Lee Goodman, Poliquin’s attorney and a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said last month.

Full Article: Poliquin's election challenge faces long odds - Portland Press Herald.

Maine: Poliquin’s election challenge faces long odds | Kennebec Journal

Lawyers for Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and the Democrat who defeated him will square off in federal court Wednesday in a case with ramifications far beyond Maine’s rural, sprawling 2nd District no matter the outcome. For U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Golden and supporters of ranked-choice voting, the election ended two weeks ago after the Democrat emerged from an instant runoff leading Poliquin by 3,509 votes. Yet Poliquin and his team are aiming for more than just a reversal of the election results as they push to make Maine the national, legal test case for ranked-choice voting in any federal election. “Whether a state can go beyond a plurality that is currently provided for in (the Constitution) is an open question the Supreme Court has never decided,” Lee Goodman, Poliquin’s attorney and a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said last month.

Full Article: Poliquin’s election challenge faces long odds - CentralMaine.com.

Maine: Poliquin seeks recount in Maine’s 2nd District race | Lewiston Sun Journal

Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin asked Monday for a recount in the 2nd Congressional District race he lost narrowly to Jared Golden, the Lewiston Democrat. Later in the day, Golden said, “Dragging this process out only hurts the people we were elected to serve.” Golden said in a prepared statement Poliquin is “within his rights to pay for a recount,” but is unlikely to prevail. … “Furthermore, we have become aware that the computer software and ‘black box’ voting system utilized by the secretary of state is secret,” he said. “No one is able to review the software or computer algorithm used by a computer to determine elections. This artificial intelligence is not transparent.” Dunlap scoffed at the secrecy argument. He said Poliquin’s campaign asked about the software used to count the ballots and was told the state had to keep details confidential for security purposes. “You don’t put something like that out there for hackers to use,” Dunlap said.

Full Article: Poliquin seeks recount in Maine's 2nd District race - Lewiston Sun Journal.

Maine: Democrat prevails in Maine congressional race that used ranked-choice voting system | The Washington Post

Democratic challenger Jared Golden prevailed Thursday in a Maine congressional contest, defeating a Republican incumbent in the first federal race in the country in which a ranked-choice voting system was used to determine the winner. After Election Day, Golden, a state representative, narrowly trailed Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) in a four-way race in which no candidate received 50 percent of the vote. The result flipped Thursday after the rules of the ranked-choice system were applied. The system allows voters to cast ballots for their candidate but also rank other contenders in order of preference. If no one wins more than 50 percent of the vote outright, those choices are factored in.

Full Article: Democrat prevails in Maine congressional race that used ranked-choice voting system - The Washington Post.

Maine: Judge aims to announce fate of ranked-choice voting in Maine’s 2nd District on Thursday | Bangor Daily News

A federal judge said Wednesday he would try to issue an order Thursday on whether counting of ranked-choice votes in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District election would continue or be halted while the constitutionality of the process is decided. Ballot counting by state election officials will likely be finished by Thursday, said Kristen Muszynski, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. That could make a portion of the lawsuit moot, but the judge still could consider and rule on the underlying constitutional issues.   Two-term U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and three supporters sued Dunlap on Tuesday to stop the ranked-choice ballot count and declare him the winner in his re-election contest against Democrat Jared Golden.

Full Article: Judge aims to announce fate of ranked-choice voting in Maine’s 2nd District on Thursday — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine.

Maine: Judge, ballot counters racing to election finale in Maine | Associated Press

A federal judge heard arguments Wednesday aimed at stopping Maine’s unusual ranked-balloting system, even as election staffers scanned votes to determine the winner of last week’s congressional race. Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and three activists sued Tuesday to overturn Maine’s new voting system. U.S. District Judge Lance Walker heard arguments Wednesday about whether to halt the vote-counting process until he has time to rule on the system’s constitutionality. Walker indicated he would rule as soon as Thursday on the request to halt vote-counting. The state’s elections chief also said workers were resuming the counting with an eye toward completing it Thursday. Supporters and opponents of ranked-choice voting were eagerly awaiting both results, and wondering which would come first. Walker’s ruling could have major implications for the future of the voting method, which was approved by Maine voters but has drawn ire from Poliquin and others who believe it is confusing and violates the concept of one person, one vote.

Full Article: Judge, ballot counters racing to election finale in Maine | Boston 25 News.

Maine: In Tight Race, Maine Republican Sues To Block State’s Ranked-Choice Voting Law | NPR

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, has a filed a lawsuit in federal court that seeks to block state election officials from conducting the nation’s first ranked-choice voting tabulation in a federal race. The lawsuit asserts that Maine’s ranked-choice voting law violates the U.S. Constitution in multiple ways. Among the claims: It does not award winners who obtain a plurality — or the most votes — but rather a majority by allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference. “What bothers is me is that we do not know if this vote-counting process is legal under the United States Constitution,” Poliquin told reporters at the State House in Augusta. “My job is to make sure I uphold and defend the Constitution.”

Full Article: In Tight Race, Maine Republican Sues To Block State's Ranked-Choice Voting Law : NPR.

Massachusetts: After chaotic House race, some call for new voting system | Associated Press

The crowded and chaotic Democratic congressional primary in Massachusetts that is now being recounted has fueled calls from election reform advocates for the state to adopt a system allowing voters to rank candidates on the ballot rather than select just a single one. Ten candidates were vying for their party’s nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas. The top two vote-getters in the Sept. 4 primary, Lori Trahan and Dan Koh, wound up separated by only a few dozen votes after the initial count. The recount sought by Koh in the 37 cities and towns of the 3rd Congressional District is slated to conclude Monday. Regardless of the outcome, the winner will have done so with just slightly more than 20 percent of the total Democratic votes cast in the race — a result that some see as troubling if not outright undemocratic.

Full Article: After chaotic House race, some call for new voting system.

Maine: LePage veto of extra election funding stands as Legislature finally adjourns for 2018 | Portland Press Herald

he Maine Legislature adjourned for the year Thursday nearly five months late, but not before Republican Gov. Paul LePage scored one more veto victory and also persuaded lawmakers to pass a bill aimed at protecting the elderly from home foreclosure when they fall behind on their local property tax bills. For a number of lawmakers it was not only the end of a marathon lawmaking year, but also likely marked their last day in the Legislature because they have served four consecutive terms and are prohibited by term limit laws from seeking re-election. Outgoing Senate President Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, one of those termed out of office, offered farewell remarks to his colleagues and some advice for the next Senate and the next Maine Legislature, which will be elected in November.

Full Article: LePage veto of extra election funding stands as Legislature finally adjourns for 2018 - Portland Press Herald.