Maine GOP files federal law suit to stop ranked choice voting in upcoming primary

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The Maine Republican Party filed a lawsuit Friday in federal court to stop ranked choice voting from being used in Republican primaries.

At their state convention at the Augusta Civic Center, GOP delegates voted to change party rules and return to plurality elections to choose their nominees.

Ranked choice voting is designed to ensure that candidates win by majority vote.

Republicans want to ensure the winner is simply the candidate with the most votes, even if they don't get a majority.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Bangor.

"What we're doing is we're saying we want clarity, we want to know the day of the primary who our nominee is. We don't want to face a three week or a month and a half long legal battle while the courts try to figure out who got elected or while the Secretary of State tries to figure out who got elected. We know on day one who our nominee is if we're successful with this suit," said Jason Savage, Executive Director of the Maine Republican Party.

Kyle Bailey from the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting says the Maine Republican Party is bound by state law governing primaries, unless it wants to pay to run its own election.

They're calling the move a last-ditch effort to undermine the election law that comes after the deadline for printing ballots.

Maine's Secretary of State says he'll review the lawsuit with legal counsel.