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Major Opponent of Maine Ranked Choice Voting Tells Lawmakers to Reject Full Repeal

Maine State Senator Michael Carpenter pinned an op-ed for the Bangor Daily News Tuesday that calls on lawmakers not to repeal the voter-approved ranked choice voting statute, but instead find compromise.

Carpenter, a former state attorney general, initially co-sponsored the bill that calls for full repeal, but after listening to voters in public hearings and “reviewing the facts,” he had a change of heart.

“Lawmakers should not overrule the more than 388,000 Maine people from across the political spectrum who voted last November to enact ranked-choice voting, the second largest referendum vote in our state’s history,” Carpenter writes.

He added, “As I heard from some of the voters in public testimony, I realized they were rightfully astonished and offended by the prospect of full repeal. There is an opportunity for middle ground.”

ALSO READ: Maine Voters Respond: Respect Our Vote, Don’t Repeal Ranked Choice Voting

As I heard from some of the voters in public testimony, I realized they were rightfully astonished and offended by the prospect of full repeal.
Maine State Sen. Mike Carpenter

The middle ground? Move forward with ranked choice voting in federal and primary elections (70% of elections under ranked choice voting), where there is no state constitutional conflict. Then amend the constitution for the three state elections the Maine Supreme Court says ranked choice voting does not comply with the state constitution.

“I did not support Question 5 (RCV initiative), and I do not like ranked-choice voting as a policy today. But like U.S. Sen. Angus King, who expressed his concern about a full repeal of the law in an interview with Maine Public last week, I do not wish to instigate any further distrust in the political process or in government as a whole,” says Carpenter.

Read the full op-ed here.

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Photo Source: Maine Public