Supreme Court shoots down GOP attempt to stop ranked-choice voting in Maine
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday night turned down a last-ditch effort by the Maine Republican Party to prevent ranked-choice voting from being used. Justice Stephen Breyer rejected the request for the high court to step into the legal fight after Republicans sought to delay ranked voting until state voters got to weigh in through a “People’s Veto” referendum.
Under the system, voters are allowed to rank all candidates in order of preference on the ballot. If no candidate wins a majority, the last-place candidates are eliminated and their supporters’ votes are reallocated based on those voters’ second-place choices.
The ranked voting system was approved by Maine voters in 2016 and first used in the 2018 election. It became a partisan issue in Maine after Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin was narrowly defeated in the 2018 midterms through ranked-choice voting, even though he won the most first-place votes.
The Maine GOP’s appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court came after Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court twice shot down their push.
Maine’s Democratic secretary of state had previously rejected the referendum, ruling the GOP fell short of the needed level of 67,067 signatures of registered voters to force the issue. The Maine GOP had appealed that decision and a lower court judge sided with Republicans, reinstating enough signatures to surpass the minimum by 22 signatures.
The presidential ballot in Maine will include President Trump, Democratic challenger Joe Biden, and three other candidates — Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, Jo Jorgensen of the Libertarian Party and Rocky de la Fuente of the Alliance Party.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.