I think Edgar Allen Beem does a disservice to us by implying that ranked choice voting is a partisan effort, and was merely a reaction to LePage’s governorship (“The Universal Notebook: When choices are rank, try ranked choice voting”). It is totally nonpartisan, or the League of Women Voters would not be endorsing it.
If two right-leaning candidates and one Democrat had been running for governor, RCV could have prevented the Republican vote from being split, and so allowing one of them to be elected instead of handing the election to the Democrat, who would have won only because the Republican vote was split.
Ranked choice voting merely allows the voter to rank their choices, so that voting for the one they love doesn’t prevent the one they can also tolerate from being elected, while never providing support for the one(s) deemed intolerable.
The possible constitutional challenge seems surmountable, as surely the majority that this system of voting might produce would be a clearer indication of what voters want.