On June 12, voters will cast ballots in a statewide Special Referendum Election and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is reminding all Maine voters of an informational resource that can help them make an informed decision at the polls: the 2018 Maine Citizen’s Guide to the Referendum Election at http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/pdf/guide618.pdf .
The Citizen’s Guide is intended to provide as much information as possible so that voters have a convenient resource to educate themselves before casting their ballot. The Department of the Secretary of State, in collaboration with the attorney general, prepared the guide as an unbiased and non-partisan review of the People’s Veto question that voters will consider at the polls this June.
Question 1 asks: “Do you want to reject the parts of a new law that would delay the use of ranked-choice voting in the election of candidates for any state or federal office until 2022, and then retain the method only if the constitution is amended by December 1, 2021, to allow ranked-choice voting for candidates in state elections?
In the guide, voters can read the full text of the People’s Veto legislation, along with an analysis of its intent and content. Voters can also learn the impact of a yes or no vote. Election law also allows for citizen advocacy statements to be published supporting or opposing questions, which provides voters with those viewpoints to consider; one public comment was filed in support of this question and no public comments were filed in opposition.
Voters can request absentee ballots online at http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl via the Secretary of State’s website. Absentee ballots can also be requested in person, by phone or by mail from the voter’s municipal clerk. For more information http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/munic.html.
The final rules governing the tabulation of ranked-choice voting ballots are now available on the Maine Department of the Secretary of State website, along with an animated video (see above) that shows how the tabulation will work. On June 12, 2018, this method of voting will be used for the first time ever in a statewide election as voters cast their ballots in the primary election.
The Ranked-Choice Voting Resources page offers several informational resources for voters who are seeking to educate themselves about ranked-choice voting, including:
- the final version of the rules that will govern tabulation of the votes;
- an animation explaining how the ranked-choice ballot can be marked and the tabulation;
- sample ballots for the four ranked-choice voting races;
- sample marked ballots with explanations of how such markings will be tabulated;
- frequently asked questions (FAQ);
- a printable .pdf “RCV Fact Sheet” for voters to review and share with others;
- an implementation plan showing the Department’s progress and preparation; and a timeline showing how the State of Maine came to use this voting method.
Public Comment Period is Now Open On Wording of November Referendum Question.
To vote, fill in the oval. To rank your candidate choices, fill in the oval; In the first column for your first choice candidate; in the second column, for your second choice candidate, and so on. Continue until you have ranked as many or as few candidates as you like. FILL IN NO MORE THAN ONE OVAL FOR EACH CANDIDATE OR COLUMN. To rank a write-in candidate, write the person’s name in the write-in space and fill in the oval for the ranking of your choice.