BOSTON, MA – Former Congressman Bruce Poliquin is actively working
to warn voters across the country about the perils of ranked-choice voting,
calling RCV the “biggest voter rip-off in Maine history.”
Poliquin recently testified to the Massachusetts
Legislature’s Joint Committee on Election Laws about a proposal on Beacon Hill
to impose ranked-choice voting in future Massachusetts elections.
Yesterday, Poliquin also took to the
airwaves on the Boston-based Howie Carr show to talk about ranked-choice
Following is Poliquin’s testimony:
Dear Chairmen Finegold and Lawn, and Honorable Members of the
Massachusetts Joint Committee on Election Laws,
From January 2015 to January 2019, I served the honest and
hard-working families of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House
of Representatives. This mostly rural west, central, north, and downeast areas
of our Great State is the largest geographic District east of the Mississippi
In 2014, I won ME-02 as the first Republican in twenty years,
since the former Senator Olympia Snowe represented it. During my last to years
in Congress, I was the only GOP Member in the U.S. House. This, now, highly
competitive swing district is a perennial battleground for control of Congress.
On Election Day 2018, I won my second re-election by receiving
2,200 more votes than any of my three liberal opponents, one Democrat and two
Independents. After nine days of vote counting chaos, the Maine Secretary of
State awarded the seat to the Democrat candidate who came in second place in
the only federal election in the nation subjected to the unfair rank voting
Rank voting has proven to be the biggest voter rip-off in Maine
history. For nearly 200 years, we have elected our federal, state, and local
officials by each voter casting one vote, with the candidate receiving the most
votes on Election Day the winner.
The confusing rank voting process is not a Maine idea. It was
brought to our State by liberal out-of-state political activists wanting to
game our system in order to win more elections. After 40 years of Democrat
control until 2010, they were searching for a way stack the deck and return
their majority. Funded in part by Texas billionaire John Arnold, formally an
Enron executive before its bankruptcy, and billionaire George Soros, liberal
activists took advantage of our lenient referendum process and collected the
necessary signatures to put rank voting on the ballot. Then, they swamped the
public discussion with tv and radio ads, robo-calls, mailers, yard signs, door
knocking, and so on in order to fool enough Mainers to abandon our
Constitutional one person, one vote system.
The Maine State Legislature tried to stop the imposition of rank
voting but was overwhelmed by the big-money out-of-state special interests. In
the end, Maine’s 2nd Congressional District voters rejected rank voting twice,
but statewide it passed with only 26% of registered voters – hardly a majority
The two-year pro-rank voting campaign promised Maine voters three
“improvements” to the common sense one person, one vote method we’ve used to
elect our public officials for 200 years: (1) it would get big money out of
political campaigns; (2) campaigns would become more civil; and (3) the winning
candidate would receive more than 50% of the votes cast.
All three proved to be untrue. There was approximately $24 million
spent in our 2018 campaign, including candidate and Super PAC money. I believe
the national average for a Congressional race is $3 million. The horrible
campaign was the nastiest on record up here. And, in the end, the rank vote
fraud “winner“ received less than 50% of the votes cast.
There are a few other important facts worth mentioning about our
real-life experience with the rank voting scam. First, we asked the Secretary
of State to let our campaign attorneys inspect the computer black box algorithm
for vote counting accuracy. He refused citing trademark secrecy by the vendor
who sold Maine the system. This first-in-the-nation voting counting experiment
was conducted in the dark and unable to be verified for accuracy.
Second, there was an unusually large number of “spoiled” ballots
resulting from the chaotic process.
Third, our Maine Supreme Court ruled rank voting unconstitutional
to select state officials in general elections, such as the Governor and Maine
Legislators. Still, the Secretary of State allowed it to be used to elect
federal office holders.
Fourth, the voters who selected the losing 3nd and 4th place
finishers as their first choice got another bite of the apple and pushed the
Congressional seat to the 2nd place finisher. So, those voters who cast their
primary ballots for the two candidates who least represent the ME-02 values
ended up choosing the rank vote winner. Very misguided and unfair.
Lastly, a poll conducted after the election dust had settled
confirmed that the rank vote confusion was the #1 reason (26%) why Republicans
who did not to go to the polls chose not to vote – a glaring instance of voter
suppression, unintended or not. Not a day goes by without a fellow Mainer
stopping me in the grocery store or at Dunkin Donuts to complain about the
unfair and confusing process, and angry about his or her sacred vote not
I hope our great friends and neighbors
to the south, the fine People of Massachusetts, reject the broken promises,
confusion, and voter fraud inherent in rank voting. Don’t be hoodwinked like we
Bruce Poliquin Former Congressman Maine’s 2nd District