This amazing story of electoral reform and persistence was three years in the making. It took a petition drive, a referendum, legal challenges, a bill that would effectively would kill the act favored by the majority of voters in a nearly historic turnout, and a People’s Veto petition that was successful to finally allow ranked-choice voting to be used in the June primary.

Opponents suggest it took eight days to compile results when in fact it was exactly half that. Municipalities have 72 hours, by law, to return election results, and yet workers started entering results into the tabulator in less time than that. Then there was a weekend. Workers should have worked that weekend, but unfortunately there was no funding for overtime.

In just four days, workers, in a rented space and on a rented system, uploaded every ballot, and were able to complete certifiying results from all 16 counties and announce a majority winner by Wednesday.

Janet Mills won Maine’s historic statewide primary using ranked-choice voting with a 54 percent majority.

Ranked-choice voting delivered exactly as it should have. In a seven-way race, voters ranked their ballots to give Mills a 54 percent win, instead of the 33 percent she garnered in the first round, which would have been sufficient in a plurality election.

Thanks to all Maine voters in this historic election and to the people in Augusta who processed those results to prove ranked-choice voting works.

Peggy Bayliss


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