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'Stunning': After Court Rejects GOP Lawsuit, Democrat Wins as Maine Becomes First State to Use Ranked-Choice Voting in National Race


'Stunning': After Court Rejects GOP Lawsuit, Democrat Wins as Maine Becomes First State to Use Ranked-Choice Voting in National Race

Julia Conley, staff writer

Maine's 2nd congressional district made history Thursday afternoon as it named Jared Golden the winner of his race for incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin's (R-Maine) seat, after the state used ranked-choice voting for the first time in a national race to determine the winner.

Shortly after a federal judge rejected Poliquin's lawsuit in which he attempted to halt the ranked-choice voting (RCV) process, election officials forged ahead in their tabulation of ballots and found that Golden won 50.53 percent of the vote, compared to Poliquin's 49.47 percent.


Now it’s up to the rest of the country to follow suit!


This proves, Democracy is working in Maine.

Kudos to our Maine brothers and sisters.


This is real progressive positive change! Maine is showing how a democracy should work and needs to be applauded as well as followed by all states in the union. The point here is to break once and for all time the monopoly of power held by the major parties allowing real solutions and forcing those same parties to respond to the wishes of the voters and not their select special interests.


I’m a Maine 2nd district voter; and it’s been said in the past “as Maine goes, so goes the nation”. Here’s hoping that old phrase comes true!


I have sent repeated suggestions to them to do so. You are inspiring me to try again, so thanks!


Very happy for all of you and glad that nightmare governor is gone too.


Hey, Roberto–I just contacted a friend in the League about this and to help host a single payer event in Burlington. Wish us luck.


For voting-system geeks:

i’ve been advocating for Score Voting, or its simplest version Approval Voting, for the same reasons as RCV: reduces “spoiler” effect, no “wasted votes,” due to voters weighing in on EVERY candidate on the ballot, rather than just one precious vote that must only go to one candidate under Plurality Voting.

Recently learned about STAR voting - “Score, Then Automatic Runoff.” It combines features of Score Voting with Runoff Voting, and does better outcomes than either RCV or Score Voting:
STAR avoids the incentive to strategically “bullet vote” (vote ONLY for your preferred candidate and give zero to all other candidates) under Score or Approval Voting;
STAR reduces the likelihood under RCV/IRV that your vote for your preferred candidate could cause your LEAST preferred candidate to win.

See the video presentation embedded in this link to see how RCV/IRV can have this bad outcome. This is why Burlington VT abandoned IRV following just such a “bad” outcome in 2009.

We now have RCV operating in Maine; Approval Voting will be used now in Fargo ND; and the Equal Vote people are trying to get STAR Voting used in Lane and Multnomah Counties in OR.

All good efforts! Props to the voting-system advocates who are working so hard to get REAL reform operating so everyone can see it work.


Love that rank choice voting was used in race for national office. This is a legitimate means to improve democracy.


How does RCV compare with Australia’s preferential voting system?


If Maine had had RCV in the past, LePage would never have been governor.

Props to Mainers for stepping it up.


Me too! I’m from Maine and I voted for Golden! And I really like ranked choice voting because it was wrong that Le Page got elected to two terms as governor with only about thirty percent of the vote, which meant that almost sixty percent of Mainers had voted against him, but he got elected anyway, so now we have finally fixed this! Poliquin and the republicans are only proving that they don’t want democracy, but most Americans DO want democracy! Long live democracy and the will of the people! Hurrah!


LOL I love this rank choice voting----wow, the People win, and now your state motto makes sense Main; DIRIGO" meaning , " I direct…" . and finally each person in Maine has an" I direct " vote. This is so cool! : )


I want to have high hopes for the state of the State of Maine - and I think we’ve definitely turned a corner back towards sane leadership. I think that for the most part the common sense/practical/pragmatic folks in Maine really are the majority - and ranked choice has proven that. Cheers to us!! Now if we can just see the back of Susan Collins…


It’s the same thing.

It is also called “instant runoff” voting becasue it assures the winner receives votes totaling at least 50 percent, plus one, of votes cast without having to run a second, separate runoff election.


Start badgering the Governors and State Legislators –

Meanwhile, think this is a clear message for Sen. Susan Collins who just LOVED Kavanaugh.


Trump also would not have been crowned “Emperor” if this had been true across the nation. Besides eliminating gerrymandering we need to break the undo power of the Old South in both houses.


The method I’m familiar with has the candidate with the fewest votes being dropped first & the 2nd place votes of those who voted for him/her being distributed to the remaining candidates accordingly, & if there is still no majority, then the next candidate with the lowest vote count is removed & the process is repeated until 1 of the remaining candidates has a majority. There shouldn’t be 2 candidates removed simultaneously.


hooray of sanity in voting and to Maine for showing the rest of us the way. Collins will be no great loss as we see her back in 2020!