Senate Democrats submit joint order to implement ranked-choice voting

Posted: April 04, 2018 | Front Page, Senator Carpenter, Senator Jackson

AUGUSTA — On Wednesday, the Senate Democrats filed a Joint Order directing the Legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs to report out a bill to implement all primary, general and special elections in 2018, including ranked-choice voting contests. The Joint Order, sponsored by Sen. Mike Carpenter, D-Houlton, seeks to address concerns relating to the implementation of ranked-choice voting through the proper legislative channels.

“On Monday, members of the Senate expressed concerns about implementing elections in this state. We must take appropriate legislative action to address these concerns. The Secretary of State has the authority to conduct elections and it is on us to make sure he has the necessary funding to do so” said Sen. Carpenter. “I fear we risk diminishing the status of this esteemed body by circumventing the proper process and procedure. We must take care to do this right.”

The Joint Order comes after the Maine Senate passed an unprecedented Senate Order spearheaded by Senate Republicans on Monday in a vote of 21-13. The Senate Order granted broad powers to the Senate president to pursue broad legal action regarding the administration of ranked-choice voting.

“Mainers have been clear and consistent: they want ranked-choice voting. And lawmakers must implement the will of the people,” said Senate Democratic Leader Troy Jackson.

The Joint Order will now go the floor of the Senate for a vote.