Maine First State To Try Ranked-Choice Voting for POTUS

Maine First State To Try Ranked-Choice Voting for POTUS
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

This November, Maine voters won't be "throwing their votes away" if they decide to vote for a third-party candidate because they'll still be able to vote for Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

On Monday, the state's Supreme Judicial Court upheld the use of ranked-choice voting for its presidential and congressional races, resisting efforts by the state's Republican Party to force a stop to its use.

In ranked-choice voting, citizens aren't asked to just choose a single candidate. They are permitted to rank the candidates from most to least favorite. In order to win a ranked-choice vote, a candidate is required to earn a majority of the votes (more than 50 percent), not just a plurality. In the event no candidate gets a majority of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is tossed out of the running. Then the votes are tallied again, but for voters whose favorite was just tossed out, their second choice now counts as their vote. This continues until one candidate has earned at least 50 percent of the votes.

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