October 31, 2020 - The people of Maine no longer have to vote out of fear, but there's a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering going around about ranked-choice voting. Don't be tricked by the undead politics of fear - ranked-choice voting is a treat, and it's here to stay. Here are the facts:
Maine’s U.S. Senate race is a ranked-choice voting election. There is no reason to worry about “splitting the vote.”
All four candidates in the race, including Susan Collins, have promised to accept the election results as tabulated by ranked-choice voting. Even if they don’t, there is no legal process available to challenge the fact that RCV will be used in Maine’s Senate race.
The U.S. Constitution clearly states that the states set their election processes for congressional elections: “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” Thus RCV in Maine is not the jurisdiction of the U.S. Supreme Court.
In fact, when former GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin attempted to challenge the results of his 2018 loss in Maine’s second congressional district, a Trump-appointed U.S. District Court Judge, Lance Walker, ruled:
“Plaintiffs argue that the force of history calls for the Court to interpret Article I as requiring a plurality or ‘first-past-the-post’ standard for deciding election results,” Walker wrote. “There is no textual support for this argument and a great deal of historical support to undermine it … it is no accident that Article I does not set forth a comprehensive mandate for running federal elections, let alone dictate the plurality standard.”
Further, the Maine Supreme Court has allowed RCV to go forward every time it’s been challenged in Maine courts, regardless of the procedural points being made. RCV for congressional elections is settled law in the state of Maine, is being used in the Senate election, and is under no legal threat.
Arguments to the contrary are at best misinformed, and at worst disingenuous fear-mongering designed to intimidate voters into voting against their own interests to avoid “spoiling the election” or “splitting the vote”.
Mainers fought hard for RCV so that we can fearlessly vote for candidates who represent our values, and not be intimidated into voting out of fear ever again. Now that we’ve won the fight for RCV, we should use it! So please use the increased power RCV gives you as a voter to rank your favorite candidates according to your wishes. Ranked-choice voting means more voices, more choices, and more democracy.
See more information and resources about Ranked-Choice Voting compiled by the Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign here.