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 The Senate version, which had Republican and Democratic support, would have repealed the ballot law completely.
… It would take a two-thirds vote in the Legislature to resurrect either repeal bill this year, but lawmakers will likely attempt to resolve the issue in the second half of the current session, which starts in January 2018. The first statewide election scheduled that will use ranked-choice voting will be the party primary races set for June 2018.
Some lawmakers also said Wednesday there may be an avenue to have a court issue a ruling on the law pre-emptively before its 2018 implementation date.