Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Maine State Supreme Court Rules Ranked Choice Voting for President Will be Used in November 2020

Ballot Access News

On September 22, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the Republican-backed referendum petition on ranked choice voting for president did not have enough valid signatures. Therefore, the voters will not vote again on whether to use ranked choice voting, and the existing law, requiring the presidential portion of the November ballot to use ranked choice voting, will be in effect in November 2020. See this story.

The case is Jones v Dunlap, CUM-20-227. The vote is unanimous. Here is the 24-page opinion. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

The only reason the petition failed is that two of the circulators, who each collected a great many signatures, were not registered in their town of residence when they started to work on the petition. The Maine Supreme Court admits that in 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a Colorado law that required initiative petitioners to be registered voters. But it says in that case, 17% of the adult citizen-residents of Colorado were not registered to vote, whereas in Maine, only 4% are not registered. It says that in order to hold the Maine registration requirement unconstitutional, a great deal of evidence would be needed, and that such evidence does not exist in this case.

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