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Ranked choice voting: What you need to know before Tuesday

CBS 13 is taking an in-depth look at ranked choice voting and what you need to know before heading to the polls on Tuesday. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) – CBS 13 is taking an in-depth look at ranked choice voting and what you need to know before heading to the polls on Tuesday.

When you head into the voting booth on Tuesday you may notice your ballot looks a little different than it did previously. A professor at Bowdoin College says it allows you to vote for favorite candidate instead of voting, how he calls, “strategically.”

Associate Professor Jeff Selinger says Tuesday's election will be big.

"You don't need to vote to prevent your least preferred candidate from winning, which opens what you have to do in a single-member district plurality system, which means you have to be thinking about how everyone else of voting,” Selinger said. “That's strategic voting."

This year, voters will get rank their candidates 1-3.

Every race, with the exception of the gubernatorial race, will be done in this ranked-choice style.

In the 1st District race for Congress, Republican Mark Holbrook says he is prepared to take legal action if the results do not end his way.

"If It's really close and I lose I'm pretty certain we're going to pull the trigger on it," Holbrook said.

Independent Martin Grohman favors ranked choice.

"I think ranked choice lets you vote for the person you want as opposed to against the person you don't want," Grohman said.

Democratic Candidate Chellie Pingree says she supports ranked choice voting.

In the 2nd District congressional race, when we asked Incumbent Bruce Poliquin about ranked choice voting, he didn't give a direct answer.

"Well, right now I'm focused on meeting with our job creators," Poliquin said.

Democratic Candidate Jared Golden supports the idea.

"I support what the Maine people have said by their vote they support, and I think that's more important than anything," Golden said.

In the Senate race, Angus King and Zak Ringelstein are in favor of ranked choice voting.

Eric Brakey tells CBS 13 he has serious Constitutional issues with it.

Selinger believes if the state sees the election process as a success, more states may follow Maine's lead.

"This is a way of effectively guaranteeing that the most preferred candidate will win," Selinger said.

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