With Maine Governor Janet Mills authorizing the voters to rank candidates in the presidential elections, Maine is on the road to become the first US state to introduce such a system. Mills made the announcement on Friday and said that the bill will become a law in January 2020, without requiring her signatures.
Since Mills won’t be signing the bill, it means that the system will neither be used on March 3 for presidential primary of State nor will it become a law until 90 days post the adjournment of legislative in April or May.
Democratic Governor Janet Mills reasoned that she was not signing the bill so that the lawmakers can work to resolve the concerns related to the bill and logistics of ranked-choice voting in the presidential elections. The ranked choice voting is expected to comprise various aspects like collecting and transporting ballots from more than 400 towns.
“My experience with ranked-choice voting is that it gives voters a greater voice and it encourages civility among campaigns and candidates at a time when such civility is sorely needed,” Mills said.
“At the same time, there are serious questions about the cost and logistics of ranked-choice voting, including collecting and transporting ballots from more than 400 towns in the middle of winter, and questions remain about the actual impact of this particular primary on the selection of delegates to party conventions.”
While many including FairVote President and CEO Rob Richie have appreciated the decision of the Gov., the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting has expressed dissatisfaction over Mills not signing the bill into law as it prevents the ranked-choice during the primaries of 2020 Presidential elections.
In order to prevent the primaries from taking place, the opponents need to submit enough signatures by September 18. Once done, the voters would then have the opportunity to consider the prospects of the law and then allowing the change, if they would want to.
Earlier, Rep. Bruce Poliquin termed the ranked-voting as unconstitutional. However, District Judge Lance Walker gave a verdict saying although the rivals can doubt the integrity of ranked-choice voting, such disapproval “falls short of constitutional impropriety”.
As per the reports by FairVote, prior to the judgment by Janet Mills, two dozen cities including Cambridge, Massachusetts, and St. Paul, Minnesota allowed the use of ranked-choice voting, in certain elections.
The decision is certainly welcoming as it improves the chances for voters to choose candidates on the basis of their opinion and thus forcing the 2020 hopefuls to reach to a wider array of common people.