Those making a fourth legal challenge in just over two years to Maine’s ranked-choice voting system are using a new lens of equity, but they will have to convince a federal judge that fundamentals have shifted since he tossed a similar suit in 2018.
The new lawsuit on behalf of four plaintiffs reiterates arguments Republicans have made against the method, including that the winner may still end up with a plurality — not a majority — of the original ballots cast since some ballots are exhausted when voters do not rank a second choice. That was the case when Poliquin lost in 2018 to U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District.
But citing analysis from a Princeton University professor, the plaintiffs note that the majority of voters did not rank as many candidates as there were options on the 2018 ballot. It argues that towns with higher shares of older voters and those without college degrees are more likely to truncate ballots.