AUGUSTA, Maine — A petition drive to stop an expansion of ranked-choice in Maine to presidential primaries and general elections has failed. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap confirmed Wednesday that certification of the people’s veto of “An Act To Implement Ranked-choice Voting for Presidential Primary and General Elections in Maine" does not have enough valid signatures to move forward to a vote.
The Maine Republican Party (Maine GOP) submitted the petition signatures on June 15 to be reviewed. They collected more than 72,000 signatures statewide. But the Secretary of State’s Office said Wednesday that more than 11,000 of the 72,000 signatures turned in were invalid and therefore failed to gather the 63,000 signatures needed to get on the November ballot.
Dunlap deemed more than 3,500 signatures invalid because they weren't certified by the registrar as belonging to a registered voter in that municipality, and another roughly 2,600 because they were duplicate signatures that were already counted.
Read Dunlap's determination here:
RELATED: Maine GOP says it has enough signatures to send ranked choice voting question to November ballot
Maine voters voted in favor of ranked choice voting in 2016, and the system was used in statewide primaries and general elections in 2018. In fact, Maine was the first state to use ranked choice voting in U.S. Senate and House elections (2018).
This people’s veto effort sought to repeal parts of Chaptered Law 539, which expands the ranked-choice method of voting to the presidential primary and general election in Maine. Without enough signatures to further the veto effort, the law will now be in effect for the November 3 presidential election.
The Maine GOP did not immediately respond to NEWS CENTER Maine's request for comment.
RELATED: Sec. of State Dunlap: Congressional District tabulation will go into ranked-choice voting rounds