GOP Maine governor says he ‘probably’ won’t certify results of ranked-choice primary election

From The Hill:

The Republican governor of Maine is saying he may not certify the results of the state’s primary elections on Tuesday.

Gov. Paul LePage (R) said he may decide against certifying the results because of an objection to the state’s new ranked-choice system, where voters submit a ballot that ranks votes for candidates in order of preference, according to WCSH-TV.

LePage told the news outlet that the newly installed voting system is “the most horrific thing in the world” and that he “probably” wouldn’t certify the results. He said he’d instead let the courts decide.

Maine is using the ranked-choice system for both parties’ gubernatorial candidates. In addition, it is being utilized for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House in the state’s 2nd Congressional District, as well as a state legislative seat.

“Maine people continually to be [sic] snookered by out-of-state big money and out-of-state people,” LePage said, referring to the measure in 2016 that led to ranked-choice voting in the state.

In addition to primary voting, ranked-choice voting will be on the ballot on Tuesday.

A bill that would delay the voting system’s implementation until 2021 was adopted by the Maine Legislature, according to the Portland Press Herald. The bill also states that the system would be repealed altogether if the state Constitution hasn’t changed to allow it in general elections for governor and the Maine Legislature.

The voting system will not be used in this fall’s elections for governor and state legislative seats.

The news outlet reports that the Maine Republican Party attempted unsuccessfully to stop its use in primary elections. The party filed a lawsuit in federal court, but a judge declined to hand out a preliminary injunction to block the voting system’s use.

4 thoughts on “GOP Maine governor says he ‘probably’ won’t certify results of ranked-choice primary election

  1. Paul

    Translation: If he doesn’t like the results, he can refuse to certify. If he likes the results, he can change his mind and seem reasonable.

  2. Bondurant

    What he really means is that any system that actually gives both the Democrat and Republican an honest chance of losing is not good.

  3. Shawn Levasseur

    Since Shawn Moody won the GOP primary in the governor’s race with a majority on the first ballot, the instant runoff didn’t kick in for them. This makes it less likely that Gov. LePage will refuse to certify the results of the primary election, as the GOP’s objections to their primary being run this way was an issue.

    But it’s not a sure thing that he will certify it or not

    As I write this, the Dem’s primary is still being tabulated, likely to go through a through a several rounds of instant runoff. If LePage refuses to certify the primary results, it will likely hurt Moody in the general election, as it could be seen as a play to put the Democratic nominee at a disadvantage, as who that person would be would be kept in limbo while this goes through the courts.

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