AUGUSTA – On June 12, 2016 social media across Maine lit up with voters expressing confusion and disapproval over the wording of a ballot question which was asking if voters wanted to keep parts of the ranked-choice voting law in place, or repeal them under a fix passed by the Maine Legislature.
even said that even though they had done their research, the wording of the
question made them reconsider whether they were voting on the side they
intended or not.
That ballot question
was unquestionably confusing to hundreds of thousands of Mainers, asking, “Do
you want to reject the parts of a new law that would delay the use of
ranked-choice voting in the election of candidates for any state or federal
office until 2022, and then retain the method only if the constitution is
amended by December 1, 2021, to allow ranked-choice voting for candidates in
John Andrews (R – Paris) is working to end the problem of confusing ballot
questions with a bill that was just approved by the Maine House.
bill, L.D. 534, “An Act to Make Ballot Initiative Questions Easier to Read and
Understand for Maine Voters” does the following:
– Requires the Maine Secretary of State to write the question as “simply as
the requirement that questions for a people’s veto be phrased so that an an
affirmative vote is in favor of the people’s veto.
– Requires a
brief explanation below the posed question of what effect a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ vote
will have in simple language for referendum questions, people’s veto, direct
initiative, bond issue, constitutional amendment, and other legislatively
proposed referendum questions.
The Maine House passed L.D. 534 ‘under the hammer’ with unanimous support on Tuesday, and it will now go to the Maine Senate for that chamber’s approval.