Tuesday, 17 October 2017 07:47

Legislature grapples with ranked choice voting Featured

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AUGUSTA - It's been a roller-coaster ride for advocates of ranked-choice voting in Maine.

Monday, a legislative committee heard testimony allowing ranked choice voting in federal elections.

This was the latest attempt to put a legislative stamp on a law already approved by voters, questioned by justices of the Maine Supreme Court.

Dozens of people paraded before the legislature's veterans and legal affairs committee.

Most favored the bill proposed by a representative from Monmouth.

"It's to reinforce the idea that Maine voters last November said very clearly that elections should be won by a majority. Majority rules," said Rep.Kent Ackley, (I), Monmouth.

Even before the November 2016 vote, many questioned the constitutionality of ranked choice voting. Earlier this year, the justices of the Maine Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion stating ranked choice voting conflicts with Maine's constitution.

Among those opposed to Ackley's proposal was an independent member of the house from Brooksville.

"The current ranked choice voting law is constitutional. And will remain so unless and until a case is decided by the supreme judicial court," said Rep.Ralph Chapman, (I) Brooksville.

The special legislative session set to begin next Monday will debate the question.

But earlier this month, the senate president said he favored delaying action on the bill until 2019.

"That will address the concerns of people that want to give another legislature, the 129th legislature, an opportunity to change our our constitution," said Senate President Mike Thibodeau, (R) - Winterport.

There have been failed attempts to both repeal ranked-choice voting altogether and come up with a proposed constitutional amendment so ranked choice voting is compatible with the maine constitution.

 

TJ Tremble

Reporter
[email protected]

T.J. Tremble joined WVII ABC 7 and WFVX FOX 22 in March 2016.

He was raised in Bangor, attended Bangor schools and graduated from John Bapst High School. He attended the University of Maine, studying political science.

He started his news career at the Camden Herald, many years ago. He also worked for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland, Belfast and Bangor.

He entered broadcast journalism as news director for WQCB-FM, Brewer. For Many years he worked behind the scenes in radio and television.

Recently, he worked as a news reporter for Zone Radio Corporation in Bangor [WZON-AM, WKIT-FM and WZLO-FM.

He has received reporting awards from the Maine Press Association, Maine Association of Broadcasters and the Maine Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

He is married, with three adult children and two grandchildren.