Maine Governor: Ranked-Choice Voting Is the ‘Most Horrific Thing in the World’

A sample ballot from Tuesday's primary election in Maine.

A sample ballot from Tuesday's primary election in Maine. Timothy B. Clark / Route Fifty


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But Paul LePage’s threat to not certify Tuesday’s election may be a hollow one.

As San Francisco elections officials continue to count the final votes from last week’s mayoral special election, where ranked-choice voting has created a considerably tight but unresolved finish, on the other side of the nation, Maine Gov. Paul LePage raised doubts on Tuesday over his state’s first use of the voting system.

LePage called Maine's new voting system—where voters to rank their preferred candidates instead of choosing just one—unconstitutional and "the most horrific thing in the world," according to News Center Maine. Then, the term-limited Republican governor added: "I will probably not certify the results of today's election and leave it up to the courts to decide."

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, a Democrat, has called LePage’s threat hollow. “The law says that, in an election it’s directory he has to certify the election," Dunlap said, according to Maine Public. "That’s not even relevant here because it is a nomination, not an election. So he can’t keep people from qualifying for the fall ballot by failing to sign a proclamation.”

Voters line up at a polling site at Falmouth High School in Falmouth, Maine on Tuesday. (Timothy B. Clark / Route Fifty)

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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