AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate has rejected a proposal to amend the state Constitution so at least 50 percent of the vote would be needed in order to be elected governor.

The Senate’s rejection of the bill today virtually ends its chances of passage this term.

The bill came up after a pattern of Maine governors being elected with less than a majority vote. Under present Maine law, a candidate who receives the largest number of votes, even if it’s below half of the total number of votes cast, becomes governor.

The proposed amendment would have required more than 50 percent of the vote for that office — and a runoff if necessary to determine a winner.

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