Letter: Why Scarborough rep opposes ranked-choice voting

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I feel it is my duty to share my concerns regarding the legality of the far-reaching ballot proposal for ranked-choice voting.

Since ballot questions are initiated by the public and are rarely reviewed by legislators, I drafted a letter of request seeking a legal opinion from Attorney General Janet Mills, and Senate President Michael Thibodeau joined my effort. Voters deserve information upon which to base votes.

In a detailed six-page letter dated March 4, Mills concluded “L.D. 1557 does raise significant constitutional concerns.” 

I am opposed to Ranked-Choice Voting on a statewide basis because it may violate Article V of the Maine Constitution in two ways, plurality requirement and tabulation of ballot changes; may lead to costly court challenges; would make Maine the only state in the nation to implement RCV; would be costly to implement – an estimated $1.5 million for new equipment; would include federal candidates running for Congress, as well as Maine governor, state Senate, and state House; would involve instant recounts if there are more than two candidates that do not result in a majority; would be time consuming, and may disenfranchise some voters by using the recounted ballots of the loser to determine the winner – in essence, a minority of voters would get to vote more than once.

If you have any questions about any of the ballot questions or other legislative matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.

State Rep. Heather Sirocki