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posted by chromas on Wednesday June 13 2018, @04:31PM   Printer-friendly
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Maine Is Trying Out A New Way To Run Elections. But Will It Survive The Night?

The man who lives in the Blaine House in Augusta, Maine, was, for many, a sneak preview of the 45th president of the United States. Like Donald Trump, Republican Gov. Paul LePage has transformed the face of government with his politically incorrect brand of conservatism — and he did it despite winning less than a majority of votes. LePage won a seven-way Republican primary for governor in 2010 with 37 percent of the vote, and he beat a Democrat and three independents in the general with just 38 percent.

Eight years later, it's far from clear that LePage would have a path to victory if he were running now in the Republican primary for governor. That's because, partly in response to LePage's plurality wins, Maine on Tuesday will become the first state to use ranked-choice voting to decide a statewide election. So not only are there races in Maine we'll be watching, but the process matters too. And if Maine voters don't pass an initiative reauthorizing the voting method at the same time, this real-life political-science experiment will be cut short.

The question of keeping ranked-choice in place for future primaries and Congressional races in the general election led 54-46 percent with 57% of precincts reporting at 12:05 AM EDT.

Maine's Governor Paul LePage has threatened to not certify the results, but that doesn't matter according to Maine's Secretary of State:

Gov. LePage on Tuesday says he "probably" won't certify results from the voter-approved ranked-choice voting system.

Maine law requires the secretary of state to tabulate results and get them to the governor within 20 days of an election. The governor "shall" certify them within a reasonable time period, but Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, a Democrat, said this only applies to state general elections and not primaries. "He can bluster all he wants, but he can't change the results," Dunlap said.

Also at WGME, Vox, NYT (live results), and Portland Press Herald.

Previously: Maine Supreme Court Approves Ranked-Choice Voting for 2018 Elections

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Thexalon on Wednesday June 13 2018, @07:29PM (1 child)

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday June 13 2018, @07:29PM (#692490) Homepage

    I didn't say you'd save the votes for upcoming elections, which is ridiculous. I'm talking about the raw data, the ballots themselves. Compare two hypothetical results, first the plurality results:
    Smith (i.e. Smith > Jones or Johnson) - 150,255
    Jones (i.e. Jones > Smith or Johnson) - 200,127
    Johnson (i.e. Johnson > Smith or Jones) - 223,934

    And now the ranked-choice results for voters with the exact same preferences as what were recorded above:
    Smith > Jones > Johnson - 25,203
    Smith > Johnson > Jones - 125,052
    Jones > Smith > Johnson - 175, 867
    Jones > Johnson > Smith - 24,260
    Johnson > Smith > Jones - 142,362
    Johnson > Jones > Smith - 81,572

    In both cases, Johnson wins: In the plurality version, Johnson has the most votes. In the ranked-choice version, Smith is knocked out after round 1, and then Johnson's strength as the second-choice for Smith voters puts them over the top.

    The difference is that now everybody can look at that raw data and know more about voter's preferences, and can make decisions based on that. For instance, the Johnson administration can make sure that they aren't antagonizing the Smith supporters who picked Johnson as the #2 choice, and/or try to encourage Jones supporters to abandon Smith as the #2 option. Which means that now Johnson is being more responsive to the preferences of more citizens, which is part of the point of holding elections.

    Yakko: "All is strange and vague." Dot: "Are we dead?" Yakko: "Or is this Ohio?"
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +2  
       Interesting=2, Total=2
    Extra 'Interesting' Modifier   0  
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    Total Score:   4  
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14 2018, @03:17AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14 2018, @03:17AM (#692676)

    Yeah well I'm voting Jackson/Thompson 2020! Glad there are no Gray or Brown supporters here. Those people are deplorables.