Federal judge denies GOP request for exemption from ranked choice voting

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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A federal judge has declined to let the Maine Republican Party opt out of ranked choice voting that'll be used for the first time in a statewide primary election on June 12.

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The Republican Party contended the imposition of ranked choice voting infringed upon the party's First Amendment rights. But an assistant attorney general had predicted "chaos" if the two major parties select their candidates using different voting rules.

U.S. District Judge Jon Levy rejected the GOP's request for an injunction on Tuesday.

The GOP had contended that the winner should simply be the primary candidate with the most votes.

But ranked-choice voting aims to ensure that the winner gets majority support through ballot rankings of candidates and multiple rounds of tallies, if necessary.