Archives for Ranked Choice Voting

Maine Currents 12/6/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Ranked Choice Voting in Maine: Bruce Poliquin’s legal challenges to the process, and what would be involved in extending RCV to statewide races.

A call-in show discussion of yesterday’s hearing on Poliquin et al’s case in the US Superior Court in Bangor, and where things could go from here.


Ann Luther of the League of Women Voters of Maine, and host of Democracy Forum here on WERU. Reading from their mission statement: “The League of Women Voters of Maine is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.” They endorsed RCV back in 2011 and have been working to educate the public about how it works.

John Brautigam, Senior Advisor and Counsel for the League of Women Voters of Maine, as well as Former Assistant Attorney General and State Representative (2004-2008).

Kathleen McQuaid, Professor of Political Science Emeritus with a PH.D. in Political Science from Temple University. Member Hancock County Democrats, and a supporter of adopting RCV for all levels of elections both here in Maine and nationally.

Kyle Bailey, Campaign Manager for the Yes On 1 and Yes On 5 campaigns to win and protect Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting election law

Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine.

Attorney Kim Tucker, Employed by the Florida attorney general during the Bush/Gore election crisis and helped draft their Supreme Court brief

Listen to the award-winning Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, on the 1st Thursday of each month, 10-11 a.m. on WERU-FM and

Democracy Forum 4/20/18

Ranked Choice Voting: How Will it Work In Maine

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

-How ranked choice voting is moving forward for the June primary
-What the Secretary of State is planning
-What voters need to know as they head for the polls.

John Brautigam, a public interest attorney, senior adviser and strategist to the project, Maine Uses Ranked Choice Voting.
Grace Ramsey, deputy outreach director for FairVote, a national electoral reform advocacy group.

To learn more about this topic:

Maine Uses Ranked Choice Voting
Fair Vote
League of Women Voters of Maine

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:

Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine:

Maine Currents 10/20/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Segment 1: An interview with award-winning “Bricks and Mortars” columnist Lawrence Reichard
The biweekly column appears in the Republican Journal and To receive the column via email, contact Lawrence Reichard at [email protected]

Segment 2: Mainers Thought They Passed Ranked Choice Voting- Legislature Divided On Implementation
After the Maine Supreme Court opined that the word “plurality” in the state’s constitution was problematic in implementing ranked choice voting for statewide elections, a bill was presented to amend the new law so that RCV could move forward in the non-impacted national elections. Testimony at a public hearing Monday lasted for several hours, almost exclusively in favor of passage. Today we hear some of that testimony and then learn from Ann Luther of the League of Women Voters that despite popular support, many legislators favor delaying or blocking implementation completely.

Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, Tuesdays at 4pm on WERU-FM and

Maine Currents 6/6/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Will Maine’s New Ranked Choice Voting Law Survive the State Legislature?

The Ranked Choice Voting law passed by Maine voters in November may soon be repealed by the legislature, based on a word that was changed in the state constitution back in the 1800s. The word “plurality” was substituted for “majority” after a contentious gubernatorial race in 1880. As a result, some races in the state can be (and often are) won by candidates who have the support of far less than a majority of the voters. The court’s opinion pertains to only some of the races that would be covered by the new ranked choice voting law. The remaining races could also be conducted via ranked choice voting if the state constitution were amended to read “majority” again rather than plurality. But some in the state legislature are taking the opportunity to throw out the new law entirely – and according to an analysis by Michael Shepard in today’s Bangor Daily News (, they may succeed, as some Democrats are considering voting with the Republicans.

On Friday a public hearing was held on 2 competing bills- LD1624 which proposes to amend the state constitution to allow implementation of ranked choice voting, and LD1625 which would repeal the new ranked choice voting law altogether. The hearing drew an overflow crowd to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and testimony lasted more than 4 hours. Not a single member of the public spoke in support of overturning ranked choice voting. We’re going to listen in on some of the testimony today- as much as we can squeeze into an hour.

UPDATE: As we went to air work sessions for these bills were posted. They will take place on Thursday, June 8th at 1pm. FMI:

Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and

Maine Currents 2/8/17

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Segment 1: Maine’s highest court asked to weigh in on constitutionality of ranked choice voting. After several years of having a Governor that was elected with less than 50% of the vote, Mainers approved Ranked Choice Voting in November, but some legislators and the Maine Attorney General have called into question it’s constitutionality– primarily because the state constitution specifically mentions “plurality” as opposed to “majority”. Last week the state senate voted 24 to 10 in favor of asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to weigh in, in a process known as a “solemn occasion”. The move was proposed by Senate President Mike Thibodeau. In the first half of Maine Currents today, we listen in on the debate that ensued.

Segment 2: On Monday the legislature’s Environmental and Natural Resources Committee held a public hearing on LD103, “An Act to Prohibit the Use of Certain Disposable Food Service Containers”. The containers the bill seeks to ban are polystyrene, commonly referred to by the brand name “Styrofoam”. This type of packaging has been banned in some municipalities across the state, including Freeport and more recently Portland and South Portland. Supporters of the ban cite environmental and health concerns and they say there are Maine-based paper companies that make an alternative product for hot foods and beverages. Lobbyists for the restaurant and grocery store industries downplay environmental impacts, question the health impacts, and say (in the words of Greg Dugle of the Maine Restaurant Association) that “simply put, [polystyrene] keeps hot food hot and cold food cold” better than any other product.
LD103 was presented by Stanley Zeigler who represents several towns in Waldo County. Representative Zeigler said he was presenting it as a jobs bill, citing industries in Maine that could make the replacement packaging, and also the negative impact of polystyrene pollution on the environment, fisheries and tourism. Representative Deane Rykerson of Kittery spoke in support. Mark Bergeron of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, however, spoke in opposition. He said Maine DEP found some of the terminology in the bill regarding recycling and composting to be problematic. He also said that the department has concerns that they lack the resources to enforce the ban if it becomes law. Today we bring you some of the testimony in favor of, and in opposition to LD103. (A work session on the bill is scheduled for 2/13/17)


Maine Currents 7/13/16

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Engineer: John Greenman

The latest edition of our multipartisan political roundtable discussions of the upcoming elections, with a focus today on Question 5 on Maine’s ballot this fall, a citizen’s initiative that reads: “Do you want to allow voters to rank their choices of candidates in elections for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, State Senate, and State Representative, and to have ballots counted at the state level in multiple rounds in which last-place candidates are eliminated until a candidate wins by majority?”.

Guests: Area residents Betsy Garrold (Green Party supporter), Dave Gulya (Trump supporter), Renee Trust (Republican-leaning Libertarian), Steve Godsoe (Clinton supporter) and Tim Wilson (Bernie Sanders supporter) — and (by phone) former State Senator Dick Woodbury, one of the promoters of the ranked choice voting question.