Judge weighs ranked-choice voting for Maine’s June elections

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A judge is ordering Maine to allow voters to rank their candidate choices starting in June, even as she considers a request from the state Senate to block plans for the revamped voting method.

Justice Michaela Murphy ruled Wednesday that the secretary of state’s office must continue implementing so-called ranked-choice voting, which voters approved in a 2016 referendum.

Proponents of ranked-choice voting asked Murphy to intervene after Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said new language in the state’s election law could leave Maine’s primaries open to legal challenges.

Murphy also said she’ll hold a conference on “significant constitutional issues” the Maine Senate raised Wednesday.

The Senate told the judge Dunlap lacks the authority or necessary funds to roll out ranked-choice voting.

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This story has been corrected to show the secretary of state’s first name is Matt, not Michael.

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