An Act To Establish Ranked-choice Voting in the State
Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §1, sub-§27-C is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §1, sub-§35-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 21-A MRSA §601, sub-§2, ¶J is enacted to read:
Instructions on the ballot must conform substantially to the following specifications, subject to modification based on ballot design and voting machine:
"Vote for candidates by indicating your first-choice candidate and ranking additional candidates in order of preference. Indicate your first choice by marking the number "1" beside a candidate's name, your 2nd choice by marking the number "2" beside a candidate's name, your 3rd choice by marking the number "3" beside a candidate's name and so on, for as many choices as you wish. Do not mark the same number beside more than one candidate."
Sec. 4. 21-A MRSA §603, sub-§1, ¶C is enacted to read:
Sec. 5. 21-A MRSA §603, sub-§7 is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 21-A MRSA §625, as amended by PL 2009, c. 538, §7, is further amended by adding at the end a new paragraph to read:
The clerk shall post a sample ballot in or near each voting booth on election day.
Sec. 7. 21-A MRSA §722, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2009, c. 253, §36, is further amended to read:
Sec. 8. 21-A MRSA §723, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2009, c. 253, §39, is further amended to read:
Sec. 9. 21-A MRSA §723-A is enacted to read:
§ 723-A. Determination of winner in election for an office subject to the ranked-choice voting method.
Sec. 10. 21-A MRSA §753-B, sub-§1, as amended by PL 2011, c. 399, §22, is further amended to read:
This bill creates the ranked-choice voting method of determining winners in elections for United States Senator, United States Representative to Congress, Governor, State Senator and State Representative. The method simulates the ballot counts that would occur if all voters participated in a series of run-off elections and allows a voter to rank candidates according to that voter's preferences. Each voter has only one vote and the ballot count is the same as would occur if voters participated in a series of run-off elections, with the candidate with the fewest votes eliminated after each round of counting.
There is an initial round of counting. If a candidate receives a majority of votes after the first round, that candidate is declared the winner. If more than 2 candidates have received votes after the initial round, the Secretary of State conducts a 2nd round. In this 2nd round, the Secretary of State eliminates the candidate with the fewest votes. A ballot that ranks this eliminated candidate as the highest-ranked candidate is counted as a vote for the highest-ranked advancing candidate on that ballot. An advancing candidate is a candidate who has not been eliminated. This process of counting votes and eliminating the candidate with the fewest votes continues until 2 candidates remain. The candidate with the most votes is declared the winner.