Wednesday, 20 March 2019 15:58

Ranked-choice voting up for debate again

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AUGUSTA - Ranked-choice voting is up for debate at the State House again. Lawmakers are considering one bill that would repeal it and another that would expand it.

Maine voters approved ranked-choice voting twice but the new voting process has been in court multiple times.

 

Now several Maine lawmakers are trying to do away with the whole system, which was used last year in Maine for the first time for a federal election.

 

Incumbent Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin got more votes in the first tally -- but not 50 percent. His challenger, Democrat Jared Golden, went on to take the seat in Congress.

 

One state representative said he wants to go back to traditional voting for all elections.

 

"This was obviously an experiment and it hasn't worked out. It's caused more confusion and again, less voter confidence and I think voter confidence is essential," Rep. Joel Stetkis, R-Canaan, said.

 

The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting disagreed, saying Maine people actually want to use the process for all state and federal elections.

 

A bill has been submitted that would allow the system to be used in presidential primaries and general elections in Maine. That bill was up for a public hearing on Wednesday.