Maine Gov. Paul LePage opposes ranked choice voting so much that he says he “probably” won’t certify Tuesday’s election results.
Every Mainer who voted in Tuesday’s primary made history. They were the first voters to cast ranked choice voting ballots for state, US House, and US Senate elections in the US.
LePage, though, thinks ranked choice voting is “the most horrific thing in the world.” So much so that he says he is willing to not certify the results until “the courts decide.”
Yet the courts have already decided as far as these elections are concerned. The Maine Supreme Court upheld the ranked choice voting law to be used in the primary elections back in April. Every attempt to overturn the law or stop ranked choice voting’s use in Maine has so far been thrown out.
LePage has long been one of ranked choice voting’s biggest opponents. But he also has benefited greatly from the choose one, plurality voting method. He won the governor’s seat in 2010 with just 37.6% of the vote, after winning the Republican primary with — also — 37%.
Gov. LePage spent much of his weekly public address last week railing against ranked choice voting, citing historical examples that just didn’t hold up to scrutiny — both factually and historically. In a recent interview, he also incorrectly said Maine used ranked choice voting before and it was eliminated because it didn’t work.
As of this writing, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap is in talks with the state’s attorney general to see what other legal avenues there are to certify the results. He says the votes on Question 1 — the ranked choice voting referendum — must be certified, while the certification for party nominees for the general election is largely ceremonial.
Maine voters will not only be using ranked choice voting for the first time Tuesday, but they will also be voting on the fate of ranked choice voting after state politicians passed a law that delayed and set the election reform up for repeal. Now voters have an opportunity to decide whether or not to overturn the actions of state legislators.
Stay tuned for more on this story, including the results from Tuesday’s elections.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore