FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Citizens’ initiative for ranked-choice voting found valid with 64,687 signatures
AUGUSTA – The citizens’ initiative petition effort to consider ranked-choice voting has been found valid, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed today.
The petitions for “An Act To Establish Ranked-choice Voting” had been in circulation since Oct. 28, 2014. On Oct. 19, 2015, the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions received 10,036 petition forms with 75,369 signatures of voters who support the initiative.
Staff members at the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions have completed the process of certifying all of the petitions and have found 64,687 valid signatures, while 10,682 were not valid. A minimum of 61,123 signatures from registered Maine voters is required in the citizens’ initiative process, thus the petition has been deemed valid by Secretary Dunlap. The decision can be viewed here.
The initiative to establish ranked-choice voting will now go to the Legislature for consideration, per the provisions of the Maine Constitution. The Legislature can choose to enact the bill as written or to send it forward to a statewide vote in November 2016.
The bill would provide ranked-choice voting for the offices of U.S. senator, U.S. representative to Congress, governor, state senator and state representative for elections held on or after Jan. 1, 2018. In ranked choice voting, voters rank candidates in order of preference and the results are tabulated in rounds, in which last-place candidates are defeated and the candidate with the most votes in the final round is elected.