Maine Secretary of State hopes to clear up ranked-choice voting confusion
BIDDEFORD (WGME) – With Maine's primary elections now less than a month away, Maine’s election leaders want to make sure you understand "ranked choice voting."
The June 12 primary will be the first time Maine uses the system on a statewide basis.
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap toured the state Monday trying to clear up any confusion.
The system allows voters to rank all candidates in order of preference.
If no candidate gets to at least 50 percent of the vote the first time, the second choices of losing candidates are awarded to higher ranked candidates, and so on, until someone gets to at least 50 percent.
The system is new, and not without controversy, but Dunlap believes voters will adapt.
"It's an entirely new way of electing candidates and we've never done this on a state wide basis anywhere in the country before,” Dunlap said. “So we want to be able to let it be known how we're going to do it, what their role is going to be as voters, what's going to happen in the town polling places, and then how we're going to actually do the rankings should we need to if nobody gets 50 percent plus one vote in the first round."
The Secretary of State's office has also put together information, including an animated video, on its website.