The way Maine conducts its elections is about to change. Question 5, the Maine Ranked Choice Voting initiative, was approved by 52 percent of state voters, becoming the first state to end plurality voting for statewide races.
“Passage of Question 5 is a historic victory for the people of Maine,” said campaign chair Dick Woodbury. “Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Greens, and Libertarians across Maine understand that the system is broken, and they have taken an important step to help fix it.”
Under ranked choice voting, voters rank candidates by preference rather than picking a single candidate. Advocates say this will eliminate the “spoiler effect” that results in strategic, “lesser-of-two-evils” voting, and will ensure that elections are decided by a majority of voters.
“Maine has not elected a governor to a first term with majority support since 1966,” said Jill Ward, president of the League of Women Voters of Maine. “Ranked Choice Voting restores majority rule and puts more power in the hands of voters.”
The new law will take effect in 2018 for the primary and general elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, governor, State Senate, and State Representative.
“The voters of Maine have spoken,” said Ward. “We’re ready to get to work to ensure that this new law is implemented efficiently and effectively, and that the will of the people is upheld.”
Read More IVN Coverage on Question 5: