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Proposal to repeal Maine’s ranked-choice voting moves to committee

Rep. Joel Stetkis (R – Canaan) shown right, has sponsored a bill that will completely repeal ranked-choice voting in Maine elections. Photos courtesy Joel Stetkis State Representative Facebook page.

AUGUSTA – A proposal moved forward last week that would completely repeal Maine’s Ranked-Choice Voting law.

The proposal, titled “An Act To Repeal the Ranked-choice Voting Law” was referred to the Maine Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on March 12th.

L.D. 1213 is sponsored by Rep. Joel Stetkis (R – Canaan) and has a host of cosponsors.

Ranked-choice voting went into effect in Maine for the 2018 primary elections for Governor, elections for federal office and governor, and then for federal offices in the general election.

The change was not without controversy. The implementation of ranked-choice voting was marred with legal impediments from parts of the original law being found unconstitutional, which was followed by legislation to require the law to be brought into compliance with the Maine Constitution facing a partial people’s veto.

More lawsuits followed, but eventually the new process, which many voters said was confusing, was utilized.

The full, final results of the last ranked-choice voting election in Maine’s 2018 general election between Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Jared Golden were not certified until December 19, 2018, about six weeks after the general election.

The process of delivering the ballots to the Maine Secretary of State’s central tabulation location was also controversial, with some boxes arriving with no locks, and the Secretary of State refusing to allow public access to the software ‘utility’ that was used to tabulate results.

It was estimated that the RCV process cost just under half a million dollars in additional funds for the 2018 elections, but the cost breakdown provided provided by the Secretary of State’s office does not include staff time or local voting machine costs imposed on Maine towns to comply with the new law.

L.D. 1213 has not been scheduled for a public hearing as of March 17th, 2019.

You can click here to view the bill and information about the bill.

Cosponsors signing on to the bill with Rep. Stetkis are:

Rep. Dick Campbell (R – Orrington)
Rep. Gary Drinkwater (R – Milford)
Sen. Stacey Guerin (R – Penobscot)
Rep. Sheldon Hanington (R – Lincoln)
Rep. Frances Head (R – Bethel)
Rep. Sherm Hutchins (R – Penobscot)
Rep. Beth O’Connor (R – Berwick)
Rep. Roger Reed (R – Carmel)
Rep. Nate Wadsworth (R – Hiram

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