Maine’s elections czar is still refining how ranked-choice voting will work
Good morning from Augusta, where preparations for using ranked-choice voting a month from now are coming together, according to Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s office.
That’s despite continued resistance from opponents such as the Maine Republican Party, whose state convention delegates voted to sue in federal court last week for the right to use traditional plurality voting for Republican primary contests. Oral arguments in that case are scheduled for May 23 — just three weeks before the election.
A ballot courier has been hired. Dunlap won’t comment about the latest legal challenge but is proceeding with preparations. According to spokeswoman Kristen Muszynski, the department finalized a $30,875 contract with General Courier of South Portland to bring ballots and voting machine memory devices to Augusta for ranked-choice tallying in the likely event that a candidate in one of the four affected elections doesn’t receive more than 50 percent of the first-round votes.
The scene is set. The state will add to a contract it already holds with a firm called ES&S for the leasing of a high-speed tabulation machine capable of counting ranked-choice ballots. The centralized counting location will be the Elkins Building at 19 Elkins Lane in Augusta. Muszynski said the building’s security is being beefed up in advance of the election.
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