Statement from the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting regarding, L.D. 1726, An Act to Amend the Laws Governing Elections

Ranked Choice Voting Maine

Our constitutional right to direct democracy is under attack in Maine. This year, our Legislature has overthrown the results of a free and fair election by blocking all four of the November 2016 citizen-approved referenda in one way or another. Now with this latest bill, they are trying to stop the people from exercising our right to petition our government by blocking our access to the polls.

The only bright spot is our constitutionally protected right to the People’s Veto. Right now, in subzero temperatures, thousands of Maine people are working together to gather the 61,123 signatures to stop the legislature’s undemocratic actions.

Campaign Manager Kyle Bailey said, “”The People’s Veto needs all hands on deck. Please join us to send a message and defend our democracy. Every signature counts. Time is running out and we need you.”

The State of Maine is on the cusp of a transformational change in election law but our legislature is doing everything in its power to stop the people from getting the change we voted for. But we are fighting back.

On November 8, 2016, a majority of Maine voters approved Question 5 – a first-in-the-nation law that adopts Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for the election of U.S. Senators, U.S. Representatives, Governor, State Senators, and State Representatives in both primary and general elections. The initiative became law on January 7, 2017. Question 5 received the second most votes of any citizen referendum in Maine’s history.

Politicians in Augusta have spent the last year actively working to derail the law, delay its implementation and force its repeal. In a Special Session of the Maine State Legislature on October 23, 2017, a law was passed that delays implementation of the law until 2021 and repeals it outright if no Constitutional Amendment is passed through the legislature by 2/3rds vote of both houses and an affirmative vote by the people.

Fortunately, Maine’s Constitution allows its citizens to veto actions of the state legislature that it disagrees with. Knowing this, we filed a People’s Veto referendum that was approved by the Secretary of State at 4:30pm on November 6, 2017. The following day, our volunteers across the state collected more than 33,000 of the required 61,123 signatures required by the Constitution.

If the People’s Veto signature collection is successful, it will force the use of ranked choice voting for the June 2018 primary elections for Governor, State Senate, State Representative, U.S. House and U.S. Senate. And if the People’s Veto campaign is successful at the ballot box in June, it will force the use of ranked choice voting in the November 2018 elections for U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
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For More information on the People’s Veto: http://www.rcvmaine.com

Contact: Crystal Canney at crystal@knightcanney.com or (207) 615-5968

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