Maine Congressman files federal suit challenging rank-choice voting
© WikiMedia (Jay Phagan)

Maine Congressman files federal suit challenging rank-choice voting

Bruce Poliquin (R-ME) filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday challenging Maine’s ranked-choice ballots in his race against Democratic opponent Jared Golden.

The suit claims Maine’s Act to Establish Ranked-Choice Voting (RVC Act), which replaced the single-election system used in Maine for 140 years, undermines an individuals right to vote, and vote effectively.

The RVC Act altered the method of casting and tabulating votes, in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, and tabulation proceeds in sequential rounds in which last-place candidates are defeated and the candidate with the most votes in the final round is elected.

Poliquin and three other plaintiffs filed the suit against Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and describe ranked choice voting as costly, confusing and depriving voters of genuinely informed choice. Neither Poliquin nor Golden secured a majority of the vote in the first count of ballots in the November 6 election, pushing the tabulation to voters’ second or third-choice candidates until one of the front-runners breaks the 50 percent threshold.

In a Facebook post, Poliquin stated that he is standing up for Maine’s 2nd District voters who voted against Ranked Choice Voting at the ballot box.

“This RCV process no doubt gives additional preference to those who voted for a candidate that did not end up as one of the top two vote earners, thereby allowing them multiple votes. Whether that vote was for me or my opponent, it should not matter. The process is flawed, creates tremendous confusion, and is proving to be a recipe for disaster, as Maine’s Second District predicted when they voted against it.”

Voters have approved rank-choice voting twice at the ballot box, making Maine the first state to use the process in statewide primary and federal elections.