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Maine to allow ranked votes in general presidential election

Posted at 5:22 PM, Sep 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-06 18:22:38-04

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine is set to become the first state to allow voters to rank candidates in a general presidential election.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills said Friday she'll allow such a bill to become law in January without her signature.

The legislation requires ranked choice voting in presidential elections and primaries.

Mills' office says ranked voting won't be used in a planned presidential primary in March 2020. But future presidential primaries would use it.

Under the system, voters rank three or more candidates on a ballot in order of preference. If no candidate gets more than 50%, the last-place candidate is eliminated.

The second-choice votes of everyone who ranked that candidate first are allocated until someone receives over 50%.

Mills says ranking could empower voters. But she expresses fiscal and logistical concerns.