Secretary of State preps for second election with ranked-choice voting

When Mainers hit the polls November 6th, they'll have the opportunity to use ranked choice voting for the second time. The method involves marking the ballot for their first choice candidate, and then ranking their second, third and subsequent choices for each office.

"The experience we had in June was really positive. We learned a few things, we've made some improvements to our technology that we used to do the rankings, so and it went smoothly and best of all people trusted the process," said Secretary of State Matt Dunlap.

Dunlap expects a much higher turnout in the coming election. He says they've made adjustments to the speed of the algorithm so the tabulation is quicker- and they've printed more than enough ballots this time around, as that was an issue in June. Maine of course is the first in the country to use ranked choice voting on a statewide basis - and they've done their best to make it easy for the voters.

"It's like telling time is not complicated, but making a watch is...and we're the guys who make the watches. So implementing ranked-choice voting has been an extraordinary challenge," he said.

Voters will rank their choices offices of U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress only in this election. Using ranked choice voting for State Representative, State Senator and Governor were unconstitutional under the Maine Constitution because the Maine Constitution requires those winners to be decided by a plurality in a general election.

"I think as we continue to use ranked choice voting as it continues to meet with voter approval as it has, I think you'll see the Legislature offer an amendment to the Constitution to use ranked choice voting for state elections, so, but that's not where we are now," he said.

Dunlap says throughout the process he's learned the best thing he and his staff can do is be transparent...and make sure people know what's going on both before and after an election.