AUGUSTA – The Elections Division of the Department of the Secretary of State today received petitions for the people’s veto of “An Act to Implement Ranked-choice Voting in 2021.” The proponents of this veto effort submitted 13,440 petitions with an estimated 72,175 signatures to the Elections Division on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.
Elections Division staff will now have until March 5 to certify the signatures on these petitions, to confirm whether enough valid signatures have been submitted to qualify the question for the June 12, 2018 ballot. The number of valid signatures of registered Maine voters currently required is 61,123 (10% of the total votes cast for Governor at the November 4, 2014 General Election).
Petitions for this effort were issued on Nov. 6, 2017. This people’s veto effort would repeal parts of Public Law 2017, Chapter 316, which was passed by the Maine Legislature in October 2017. The law would delay the implementation of ranked-choice voting until December 1, 2021 unless, prior to that date, the voters of the State ratify an amendment to the constitution of Maine; and would indefinitely postpone implementation if the constitutional change is not made.
Ranked-choice voting was initially approved by the voters in November 2016; legislators voted for the delay/indefinite postponement due to constitutional conflicts in the ranked-choice voting law.
The people’s veto seeks a partial implementation of ranked-choice voting, as allowed by the Maine Constitution, for Maine’s primary elections and for federal elections. If the petitions are certified to meet the signature threshold, ranked-choice voting will be in effect for the June 12, 2018 primary election.
In the event that the veto question is certified to appear on the June 12 ballot: If the ballot question is approved, ranked-choice voting would be used for the offices of U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress for the general election.
If it is not approved, PL 2017, C. 316 will take effect and ranked-choice voting will not be implemented, unless the voters amend the constitution as provided therein. Visit http://maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/citizens/index.html to view the proposed legislation in its entirety.