Maine Is Trying Out A New Way To Run Elections. But Will It Survive The Night? [fivethirtyeight.com]
The man who lives in the Blaine House [wikipedia.org] 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 [politico.com] — 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 [maine.gov] of the vote, and he beat a Democrat and three independents in the general with just 38 percent [maine.gov].
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 [mainepublic.org] to LePage's plurality wins, Maine on Tuesday will become the first state to use ranked-choice voting [pressherald.com] 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 [pressherald.com] with 57% of precincts reporting at 12:05 AM EDT.
Maine's Governor Paul LePage has threatened to not certify the results [wgme.com], 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.
Previously: Maine Supreme Court Approves Ranked-Choice Voting for 2018 Elections [soylentnews.org]