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Maine GOP to nullify ranked-choice voting in presidential primary. Here’s how that would work

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Maine GOP to nullify ranked-choice voting in presidential primary. Here’s how that would work

Nov 09, 2023 | 4:10 pm ET
By AnnMarie Hilton
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Maine GOP to nullify ranked-choice voting in presidential primary. Here’s how that would work
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A ballot for the Nov. 7, 2023 election in Maine. There were 8 referendum questions Mainers were asked to vote on. (Maine Morning Star)

The Maine Republican Party announced Thursday it would nullify ranked-choice voting in the upcoming GOP presidential primary election. 

“Our party rules are clear, and we will only recognize the first round of primary election results under our delegate allocation rules,” said Maine GOP Chairman Joel Stetkis in a press release, noting that ranked-choice voting, or RCV, is widely opposed by Republicans in the state. 

However, that does not mean the ballot won’t appear to rank candidates.

As required under state law, so long as there are three or more candidates, the primary will be conducted as a RCV election, said Emily Cook, director of communications for the Maine Secretary of State’s office. 

And if a ranked-choice tabulation is required, it will be conducted, Cook added in an email to Maine Morning Star. Again, this comes from state law.

Stetkis went on to say that the party will not recognize any RCV totals from the second, third or any subsequent rounds by the Secretary of State. The party made this choice to defend “one person, one vote…a sacred principle to Republicans.”

The primary will decide how the party’s delegates to the national convention are allocated. 

“What the parties choose to do with the results and how they choose to allocate delegates is up to them, rather than the state,” Cook said.

According to the Maine GOP, the current and proposed 2024 Maine Republican Party platforms call for the repeal of RCV.

RCV has been adopted by Maine, Alaska, and Nevada, as well as numerous local governments. On Tuesday, voters in three Michigan cities — Kalamazoo, East Lansing, and Royal Oak — approved the use of RCV for their elections. Meanwhile, Minnetonka, Minnesota, voted to keep RCV, while Easthampton, Massachusetts, voted to expand it.