AUGUSTA — The state’s highest court ruled Tuesday that a ballot-box law that moves Maine’s primary elections to a ranked-choice voting system should stand for the pending primary elections in June.
The June 12 vote will be the first in the nation for a statewide use of ranked-choice voting system.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court took up the case based on a complaint from the Maine Senate, which argued that the state’s top election official, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, did not have the constitutional authority to spend money on a ranked-choice election without specific direction to do so from the Legislature.
Attorneys for the Senate, in essence, had argued that Dunlap would be violating the Maine Constitution’s separation of powers clause by moving to conduct a ranked-choice primary in June, as ordered in March by a Superior Court judge in Kennebec County.Read more
SANTA FE — Santa Fe is set to become the first city in New Mexico to use ranked-choice voting after a state district court judge ruled that the city can’t postpone implementation of the election system any longer now that appropriate vote-counting software is ready to go.
Attorneys for the city said after Wednesday’s court hearing that it would be up to policy makers — the City Council — to decide whether to appeal the decision. Santa Fe voters approved a change to ranked choice voting, also known as “instant runoff,” nine years ago, but it has never been used.
A group of Santa Feans sued after the City Council decided in July to delay implementing ranked-choice until 2020 due to concerns that software would not be ready for the 2018 campaign and more time was needed to educate voters about the voting method.Read more