Maine Just Adopted A Bold New Strategy To Change How People Vote

Senior Contributor
11.09.16 3 Comments


Part of the reason the election went the way it did was that America has a very simple voting system; you make your choice, they count up the ballots, and we see who won. It’s been that way, by and large, for over two hundred years. The state of Maine, however, just passed a measure in the election that will change how the people of Maine vote… and might fix some of the flaws many see in the electoral system.

Mainers chose, with 52% of the vote, that rank-choice, also called “instant run-off,” will be used in all elections bar Presidential. The system is fairly simple. Of your options, you rank them from first to last. The first choices are counted, and if one candidate has more than half the vote, they win. If not, the candidate in last place is cut, and their votes shift to the person they ranked second. Rinse and repeat until somebody has more than half the vote.

If you’re wondering why Maine would take such an unusual step, the answer can perhaps be found in its controversial governor, Paul LePage. LePage, who has publicly threatened state legislators and said that Black drug dealers come to Maine to sell heroin and impregnate white women, has won the governorship twice, but never with a majority of the vote. It may say something about his chances in 2018, should he choose to run, that while he couldn’t get a majority, this change to ballots could.

(via WAGM)

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