House Democratic Office
For Immediate Release
June 21, 2017
House GOP Blocks Constitutional Amendment for Ranked-Choice Voting
Bill addressed constitutional concerns raised by Maine Supreme Court
AUGUSTA — The Maine House on Friday failed to enact legislation to amend Maine’s constitution to allow for the implementation of ranked-choice voting in state and federal elections and primaries. As a constitutional amendment, LD 1624 needed approval by two-thirds of the Legislature for final enactment, but was blocked on a party line vote of (78-68) in the House. Had it passed, it would have been sent to the voters for approval or rejection.
House Majority Leader Erin Herbig, D-Belfast and Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden, D-Lewiston, released the following statement:
“Mainers asked for election reform and it is our responsibility to respect their wishes, while upholding our duty as legislators. Today, Democrats and every independent in the House voted to amend Maine’s constitution to allow full implementation of ranked-choice voting. While Republicans blocked that effort, the process is ongoing and we still have many votes to take. I urge my colleagues to support implementation of ranked-choice voting and I hope Mainers keep up the fight.”
LD 1624, “RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Implement Ranked-choice Voting” — as amended in the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, would have amended Maine’s constitution to give authority over the form and structure of elections to the Legislature, to be determined in statute. The effect of that amendment would be to allow current statute, which implements ranked-choice voting, to stand. This bill will now go to the Senate for a final vote, but without a significant shift in votes, it is most likely to fail final passage.
LD 1625 “An Act To Repeal the Ranked-choice Voting Law" sponsored by Senator Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon Falls, has yet to be considered by the House or Senate. The bill was passed through the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee with the end result of three separate amended versions for the legislature to consider. Further votes will be taken next week.