Category Archives: Maine

Ranked Choice Voting in Maine

By: Emily Wagman On October 19, 2015, the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting delivered 70,000 signatures to Maine’s Secretary of State. While the signatures still must be verified, it is likely that the proposal will make it onto the 2016 … Continue reading

Posted in All States, Maine | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A redistricting light through the (pine) trees

by Rachel Provencher As the weather cooled and the leaves started to color in Maine last fall, the state legislature was heating up in debate over the Republican and Democratic proposals to redraw the Pine Tree State’s district lines. The … Continue reading

Posted in All States, Maine | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on A redistricting light through the (pine) trees

All states (IRV): The courts got it right: recognizing that instant runoff voting makes every vote count

by: Guest Contributor Elise Helgesen This November, Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), also called ranked choice voting, will be used for fiercely contested elections for mayor in San Francisco (CA), Portland (ME), and Telluride (CO) as well as for city council … Continue reading

Posted in All States, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Portland’s Instant-Runoff Mayoral Election: Innovative Voting, Constitutional Questions

On November 8, 2011, Portland, Maine residents will vote for mayor for the first time in nearly a century. For the past 88 years, Portland’s city councilors annually appointed the mayor. However, last year Portland residents voted to popularly elect the mayor. The impetus behind the change is the hope that an elected mayor will carry more political clout in Augusta, the State Capitol. This sudden creation of a very powerful political figure is drawing lots of attention from academics assessing the potential political impacts.

However, the election changes more than just Maine’s political balance and who chooses the mayor. It also establishes a controversial voting procedure for how the mayor is chosen. The 2011 mayor race will use instant-runoff voting (IRV), which encompasses voters’ preferential choices. Here’s how IRV works: each voter votes for as many candidates as he wants, ranking them from his first to last preference. The instant runoff ballot might look like this. Once the votes are collected, voters’ first choices are tallied. If any candidate carries more than 50% of the vote, then that candidate wins. However, given that there are 16 candidates in Portland’s mayoral race, it is extremely unlikely that one candidate will carry the necessary 50% of the vote. If no candidate has more than 50% of the vote, then the candidate receiving the lowest number of first place votes is eliminated, and his votes are redistributed to the candidates his voters ranked as their second choice. This process is repeated from the bottom up until one candidate carries the necessary majority. Continue reading

Posted in Maine | Tagged | Comments Off on Portland’s Instant-Runoff Mayoral Election: Innovative Voting, Constitutional Questions

Maine-iacs Mobilized: New Voter Registration Laws in Maine

After thirty-eight years, a sleeping (political) giant is now awake in the Pine Tree State. In June of 2011, the Maine State Legislature repealed the long-standing law permitting Mainers to register to vote on the same day as elections, and … Continue reading

Posted in Maine | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

College students and voter fraud: Charlie Webster’s Maine problem

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster is “on a mission to make Maine a better place.” The trouble is, the “better place” he envisions lies on the other side of what may be an insurmountable controversy. Since famously brandishing a … Continue reading

Posted in Maine | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Weekly Wrap-Up

Did Michelle Obama violate Illinois state election law? After Michelle Obama turned in her early voting ballot yesterday, she stopped outside the voting booth to take pictures with people in the area, including an electrician, Dennis Campbell. According to Campbell … Continue reading

Posted in Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Washington D.C. | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Weekly Wrap-Up

Weekly Wrap Up

Due to a loophole in Florida election law, a violation can go without any punishment. On September 30, a Florida District Court of Appeals ruled that because the statute allowed candidates to opt for an administrative hearing regarding their violations but didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in All States, Florida, Maine, Washington | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Weekly Wrap Up

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the People’s Veto

Like many other states, Maine allows for citizen initiatives, the process by which individual citizens and nongovernmental organizations directly propose legislation.  Also like many other states, Maine’s initiative process attracts more than its fair share of bizarre characters and proposals, … Continue reading

Posted in Maine | Tagged , | Comments Off on How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the People’s Veto

Online Voter Registration: A Small Step in the Right Direction

Lawmakers in the Michigan House recently passed HB 4539 and 4540, which together lay out the principles to allow for the electronic submission of voter registration applications. The change would allow for citizens with access to the Internet to register … Continue reading

Posted in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming | Tagged | 2 Comments