Independent Maine Rep: Lawmakers Can’t Turn Their Backs on Voters Now

A constitutional amendment to bring the voter-approved ranked choice voting initiative in full compliance with the Maine constitution failed to get the final two-thirds vote it needed in the Maine House Friday. The vote occurred a day after the House gave initial approval for the amendment.

Thousands of Maine voters called, emailed, tweeted, and spoke to state lawmakers ahead of this week, calling on them to respect their vote and not repeal ranked choice voting. As a result, the Senate tabled a full repeal bill Wednesday and unanimously voted to send the constitutional amendment to the House.

Independent State Rep. Kent Ackley (I- Monmouth) made the following statement:

“When Mainers vote they do so deliberately. They don’t just wander into the polling place saying: ‘What’s going on?’ They aren’t going to vote for something unless the value is clear and certain. Who are we to disregard that time and effort? We’ve agreed to abide by the results of votes. Votes count. Like ’em or not.” – State Rep. Kent Ackley

“It makes no sense for duly elected officials to say voters didn’t understand questions on the ballot that elected them. What we cannot do is turn our backs on a legal and binding decision made in a sacred place,” he adds.

We've agreed to abide by the results of votes. Votes count. Like 'em or not.
State Rep. Kent Ackley

Not only have Maine citizens reached out, but the state’s biggest newspapers, and U.S. Sen. Angus King have called on lawmakers to honor the will of voters and protect Maine ranked choice voting. Even a co-sponsor of the repeal bill had a change of heart after listening to what voters had to say.

Sen. Cathy Breen, who championed the proposed amendment, called the House vote Friday “a setback” to implementing ranked choice voting in Maine.