(NEWS CENTER Maine) —
The nation's eyes are upon us this primary election as Maine becomes the first state in the nation to use ranked-choice voting to cast ballots this Tuesday.
Ranked-choice voting lets voters rank the candidates in order of preference. Voters do not have to rank if they do not want to.
Unlike other elections when unofficial results roll in after polls close, tonight we will be getting the results for the number of first-place votes each candidate receives. However, this will not necessarily reflect the actual results of the ranked-choice voting count and it make take days until we know the winners of all races.
This Primary Election is for political parties to choose nominees for the general election in the fall but if you are unenrolled or independent you can still vote on the referendum.
Is it too late to switch parties?
Anyone who is registered to vote but NOT enrolled in a party can enroll today and vote but then they will be a member of whichever party they chose until they change at a future date.
LePage says he will 'probably not' Certify Election
On the day Mainers head to the polls, Governor Paul LePage threw a wrench in election day telling NEWS CENTER Maine he may not certify the votes they are casting.
As Maine became the first state in the nation to implement ranked-choice voting (RCV) statewide in the primary elections, LePage called RCV the 'most horrific thing in the world' and said he will "leave it up to the courts to decide".
However, the Maine Attorney General's office says the governor can sign a proclamation of the results, but nothing would allow him to discredit the results.
Where Do I Vote?
Voters should visit their city hall or town office to cast their ballot in this historic ranked-choice voting election. To find the polling location in your town or city go here. All polling places close at 8:00 p.m. Voters should bring an ID and proof of address, like a driver's license and an electric bill.
Ranked-Choice Voting Referendum | People's Veto
The referendum is on the “people’s veto” of a bill passed by the Legislature last October. That bill delayed the start of Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) for three years, to provide time to change the Maine Constitution to allow for RCV to be used in general elections. If the Constitution is not changed during that time, RCV would then be automatically repealed. The people’s veto petition drive succeeded, temporarily setting aside the October law and forcing it to a referendum.
A YES vote overrules the Legislature and keeps the current RCV law passed by voters in place, meaning RCV would be used in the fall election for the federal race for Congress and Senate only, and then in the 2020 primary.
A NO vote restores the law passed by the Legislature and imposes the same three-year delay in Ranked-Choice Voting, with the possibility of repeal.
Governor of Maine
Paul LePage is finishing up his last term in the Blaine House and leaves a vacant seat for Governor in the November election. Governors are elected every four years and can serve two consecutive terms for a total of eight years. A candidate must be 30 years old and a U.S. citizen for at least 15 years. The candidate must have lived in Maine for at least five years. The Governor's salary is $70,000.
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidates
Republican Gubernatorial Candidates
Members of the House of Representatives serve for two years and there is no limit on how many terms they can serve. Maine has two representatives. Candidates must be 25 years old and have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years. The annual salary for a Representative is $174,000.
1st District Representative
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D) is running uncontested for the Democratic nomination for Maine's 1st District. Pingree has been serving in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2008 when she was the first woman elected to Congress from the 1st District. Pingree is from North Haven. Her website is ChelliePingree.com
Mark Holbrook (R) is running uncontested for the Republican nomination for Maine's 1st District. Holbrook is a law enforcement consultant from Brunswick. For more about him, visit his website Holbrook4ME.org
2nd District Representative
Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R) is running uncontested for the Republican nomination to keep his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives to continue representing Maine's 2nd District. Poliquin is from Oakland and has served two terms in the U.S. House since 2014. His website is PoliquinForCongress.com
Democratic Party Candidates for the 2nd District
- Jared Golden | Job: House Democratic Assistant Majority Leader Hometown: Lewiston Website: JaredGoldenForCongress.com
- Craig Olsen | Job: Transfer Station Manager Hometown: Islesboro Website: CraigForME2.com
- Lucas St.Clair | Job: President, Environmental Nonprofit Hometown: Hampden Website: St.ClairForCongress.com