In a true democracy, it is the will of the people that ultimately determines how they will vote and it seems to be the case with the people of Maine who have successfully won the use of ranked choice voting (RCV) after a long grassroots-led battle with the state’s legislature.
Maine is the first state to ever use the ranked choice voting system starting only last year. Since then, a flurry of states and localities have been considering a switch to the unique system. Across the country, Republican legislators are introducing many of the new ranked voting bills, showing that partisanship needn’t be part of the ranked voting reform battle.
On March 8th 2019, the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center hosted a fascinating webinar titled, “The Maine Experience: Secretary of State Dunlap Reflects on Maine’s Use of RCV in 2018”. According to their website, the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center “provides a compilation of best practices and first-hand experiences from jurisdictions that have used this method of voting”. Here is a good description written up for the event invite:
This fall Maine completed the first statewide use of ranked choice voting for U.S. House and Senate general elections. Hear from Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap as he reflects on the State’s implementation of this voting method for the 2018 primary and general elections, plus the recount process, lessons learned, and more.
Matthew Dunlap has been the Secretary of State of Maine for 12 of the past 14 years. He is a member of the Democratic Party and is an outspoken critic of voter ID and other laws he believes are restricting voter access. The Center provided a pdf of his responses to the webinar’s Questions & Answers that you can view after you take a look at the video below. It lasts for 49 minutes. Check it out!
Other states and localities that have recently seen legislation proposing to make the switch to ranked choice voting include Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, the city of Baltimore, and at least four cities in Utah. Click those four links for the latest related Democracy Chronicles coverage and be sure to checkout Voting Methods Central.