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In 'Historic Victory', Maine Voters Demand Ranked-Choice Voting in Statewide Elections...Again


In 'Historic Victory', Maine Voters Demand Ranked-Choice Voting in Statewide Elections...Again

Julia Conley, staff writer

Voters across Maine reiterated their support for ranked-choice voting (RCV) in the state's primary election, with 74 percent of precincts reporting that more than 54 percent had voted in favor of the system—an even higher approval rating than the system got in November 2016 when it first appeared on ballots.


LaPage must be relagated to the loser’s box.

The voters have spoken.


As with any real progress, the stooges of regression must make every step harder. Fulfilling his role as such, LePig has stated he would not certify the election.


Wanting and doing something concrete about it in a consistent manner are two entirely separate things altogether.


And in classic bully style, with authoritarian hyperbole - just like Trump denouncing the Iran nuclear deal as “the worst deal ever” - LePage gives zero actual analysis of RCV, or what is so “the most horrific thing in the world” about it.

He just blusters, and expects enough of us to be mindless enough to swallow his bullying.

Because if anyone actually analyzes RCV, one pretty quickly understands there is NOTHING “horrific” about it, and that it is a big step up from the “winner-take all, first-past-the-post, plurality voting” that currently serves the Duopoly in the USA.

EDIT: And to be clear: “The most horrific thing” about RCV, is that LePage would have lost, and never been Governor of Maine.


And do not doubt it: A majority of the right-wing corporatist tools who have been installed as Supreme Court judges, will find some “constitutional” pretext to invalidate RCV, and restore the Duopoly-serving “winner-take all, first-past-the-post, plurality voting.”


Nothing is more important in a democracy than making sure someone representing people at least has the support of an absolute majority of those people, not just a plurality. To accomplish this, you need to have either separate runoffs elections or ranked choice voting. The difference can be huge - especially if there are multiple parties running (as there should be). The NDP would have trounced the hard-right Ford Conservatives, and the majority of Ontario gotten the government they wanted had they had ranked-choice voting. But now, with Ford ruling, there is zero chance of election reform.


You’re preaching to a choir member vis a vis Instant Runoff Voting (the name the rest of the world gives to RCV but that Americans loath to use, but that’s another topic). First-past-the-post, winner-take-all suits the Duopoly just fine as it allows for atrocities like LePig to high office.


What would work better than ranked choice voting is a approval voting.
That is, mark yes for any candidate that you approve of.
This makes the most sense when there are many candidates on the ballot like in this election.
Then the candidate with the most votes wins and the election is much simpler.

RCV has several problems.
First, it is going to take up to two weeks for the state police to gather all of the memory sticks, gather all of the ballots, and bring them to Augusta for tabulating. Only then will we know the winner.

Nationally, I would be very afraid of such a reliance on computerized voting and transportation of ballots. Maine has done a good job, but the potential for abuse is still there. (Maine has paper ballots that are tabulated by machines and the results are stored on memory sticks. The reading of the ballot is done while the voter is there so that mismarked ballots are detected and can be corrected immediately. The machines are very sensitive. Even a tiny dot from resting a pen in an unwanted block will result in a rejected ballot.) Only if one candidate gets more than 50% of the votes on the first ballot are the results known and reported immediately.

Finally, under RCV, a moderate candidate who is everyone’s second choice (but no one’s first choice) will get eliminated on the first round. A candidate with less universal appeal will then be substituted.

Approval voting has none of these weaknesses.


Instant runoff voting requires all the ballot info be brought to central headquarters for use of Instant Runoff Voting mathematical techniques.

Ranked Choice Voting does not require that because it allows a tie and has no complicated central computer to go through the ballots.

Instant runoff voting is not pure and simple ranked choice voting.


THIS should be happening in every state –


Excellent post. i also prefer Approval Voting. Actually i’d prefer Score Voting, which Approval Voting is the simplest form of Score Voting.

In Approval Voting, you score every candidate on a scale of zero to one - either not approve, or approve. In Score Voting, the scale is larger - zero to three for example - so there is a bit more nuance for voters.

In either case there is no “runoff” like in RCV. You just total the points, and the candidate with the highest total wins.

All three have the great benefit of allowing voters to weigh in on each candidate on the ballot, instead of having the “single non-transferable vote” that we are stuck with under the Duopoly system. So RCV is still a big improvement over what we have today in most of the USA.

Appreciate the discussion of voting systems!


Ranked rather than rank


You are making a false distinction. The identical system is called Instant Runoff Voting, or is called Ranked Choice Voting. There are not two systems.

Under either name, in this system, the voter ranks each candidate in the race by voter preference. If your most preferred candidate has the least votes on the first count, that candidate is discarded and your ballot is then tallied for your SECOND preferred candidate. This continues until one candidate has the majority of ballots. IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU CALL IT IRV OR RCV. THIS IS HOW THIS SYSTEM WORKS.

IRV used to be the common term to refer to this system. RCV has been adopted as the common term because it is a reference to HOW YOU VOTE in this system, thus simpler for voters to understand.

Until you demonstrate an example of the “two systems” with an ACTUAL EXPLANATION of how votes are tallied under RCV in a different way than they are tallied under IRV…

i continue to know that they are two names for the identical system, with no difference in how votes are cast or tallied whether you call it IRV or RCV.

Either you are obsessively confused about your fake distinction… or, you are only here to try to confuse others.


Seriously? Two weeks? What the hell are you doing?

Australia has used this system (we call it preferential voting) since 1919 at most state and Federal elections. We get the results of all of those on the night of the election (OK, they didn’t in 1919, but we certainly do now). On a Federal election night, that’s the result of 150 electorates on the night, with only occasionally a seat where it takes longer as it’s that close. The last Western Australian state election was called less than an hour after polling closed (though to be fair, it was a landslide).

Didn’t anyone implementing the system think to enquire with organisation that runs the largest global implementation of this system as to how to run it? I’m sure the AEC would have been happy to help with a few pointers.


The reason you have instant results is preferential or ranking of choice is self explanatory. Rank your choices according to your preference.

The Maine system is instant runoff voting. It is an obscure puritanical idea from the days when telephones were mounted on the wall and had a hand crank.

Puritanical control freaks came up with the idea of instant runoff voting to stop people from gaming the system in ordinary ranking of choices; They seek to force people to choose a ranking for every candidate. A smart thinker might not wish to even include people like Hillary or Donald in their ranking of choices.

Preferential voting from 1919 can be plugged into a modern computer system to calculate immediate results. The instant runoff voting idea requires central handling and opens doors for confusion or worse.

It is important to remember that elections cost each person about 50¢ while they cost oligarchs millions or billions. Forget instant runoff and contemplate preferential voting and include a slot for None of the Above for every candidate or policy proposal.


My impression is that something concrete and unique has happened in the US. Am I wrong? Yes or no.


In voting systems that smell and looks like shit, a system that gives everyone some close effectual vote in the process is miles ahead of anything else that exist now in the US. Wouldn’t it be wonderful that the “LePage garbage” be taken out. The only other US state that comes even close to a valid and credible voting system is Washington. The concept of perfection does not have any bearing in the real world.


Bullshit. You are lying. There is ONE SYSTEM. It is either called IRV or it is called RCV but it is the IDENTICAL SYSTEM. They count votes THE SAME WAY.

You are absolutely FULL OF SHIT.


So how do you explain the quick tally electricrabbit describes above in Australia using preferential ranking since 1919?

There must be some kind of difference between preferential voting with a possibility of a tie vote and instant run off where a tie is impossible.

Plain preferential voting yields a tally from each voting district that can be added to the other voting districts. Please explain why the system in Maine requires two weeks if there is no difference.

Preferential voting is ranking choices with favorite as top rank.

Above is the complete description of preferential voting in ten words. How many pages and chapters of text is required to describe instant runoff voting like the system in Maine?