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Maine’s voting options are ranked, explained



Voting on the ranked option will go into effect in the 2020 Maine Senate race with four candidates appearing on the ballot: Collins, the longtime incumbent GOP member struggles to keep his seat, Gideon, Democrats and House of Representatives, and two independent candidates.

Maine will also use ranked selective voting for the presidential race, where former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump will appear on the ballot alongside a number of other third-party candidates.

The system allows voters to rank candidates according to their preference on the ballot, if they choose to do so. Voters can choose first choice, second choice, third choice, fourth choice, etc.However, they are not required to rate the candidate by preference and can instead choose only choose a single candidate, who will be their first and only choice.

If one of the four Senate candidates receives a majority of the vote ̵

1; or 50% plus one vote – on Election Night, that candidate will win outright in the race with no table effect. rating options.

But, if that doesn’t happen, the candidate with the lowest ranking of the four will be disqualified. If the candidate’s backers rank other options, then their vote will be assigned to their second ranking choice. That process will repeat until only two candidates remain and the winner is determined in the final round.

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The polls have shown an extremely tight race between Collins and Gideon, potentially increasing the likelihood of ending the tally turning into multiple grouping rounds. If that happens, it could give Gideon advantages. That’s because Lisa Savage, a progressive independent contender who is also in the race, encouraged supporters to rank Gideon in second place.

The close race that comes with Senate control is at stake in Tuesday’s election as Democrats across the country try to regain a majority in the Senate. The Democrats have made Maine one of their top targets in the fight for the Senate and Collins is trying to defend his seat in the state Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election. .

The Maine race is not the only Senate election where the outcome may not be known on election night: A pair of races for the Georgia Senate could end in January, a scenario that could make sense it is not clear for weeks which party will control the Senate.

When ranked select voting rounds begin, postmen are sent across the state to collect actual ballots or memory devices and send them to a safe location at the National Building. Assembly in Augusta. There, high-speed tabulators process the votes and uploaded memory devices. Then, a secure calculator is used to determine the results by applying the rules of rated selective voting.

That process can take anywhere from a week and a half to two weeks to complete, so if no candidate wins outright with a majority on November 3, it won’t be clear who won the contest. Race to the Senate is closely watched on Election Night. That outcome could create uncertainty for the battle for control of the Senate.

The Democrats have made Maine one of their top targets in the 2020 war for a majority in the Senate and Collins is trying to defend his seat in the state Hillary Clinton won in the war. 2016 presidential election.

The consequences of voting by rating have been visible in Maine over the past electoral cycle.

In 2018, Democrat Jared Golden beat Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in a race to the District 2 House of Representatives in Maine – flipping his seat after the state calculated the results of the ranked vote.

The results marked the first time in national history, a federal race was decided by voted selectable voting.

CNN’s Lauren Dezenski and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.


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