What Mainers need to know about voting on election day

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Tuesday is election day and unlike the primaries in June, ranked choice voting will *not* be used in all state elections.

Photo: MGN Online

Mainers will be using two methods of voting on election day.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says, "You have the federal side which is all ranked choice voting, but the county and state elections are all conducted by plurality tabulations."

Ranked-choice voting will be used to determine the outcomes of races for U.S. Senate and the1st and 2nd Congressional Districts.

Dunlap says, "You will rank your choices, if you choose, one through four, however many are in the race."

If a candidate receives 50 percent plus one in the initial tally, that candidate is the winner. If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one, then the votes are tabulated in rounds with the lowest-ranked candidates eliminated in each round until there are only two candidates left.

The one who is determined to have received the majority of the votes is declared the winner.

The Governor's race is different.

Dunlap says, "On that side, you just pick one candidate, so whoever gets the most votes wins."

Last year, the Maine Supreme Court issued an advisory opinion saying the use of ranked-choice voting in the general election conflicts with the state constitution.

It was allowed to be used in the primaries.

Dunlap says, "We understand that this is a much bigger election than the June primary. It may take a little bit longer, but the number one thing that worked very well for us was being very transparent in the process and telling people everyday where we were in finalizing the tabulations of those races and we'll do that again."

Election officials say it could take up to a week to finalize any ranked-choice voting outcomes, but they do plan to work on Saturday and the Veterans Day Holiday.

A 65 percent voter turnout is expected for this election cycle, which election officials say is very high for a gubernatorial election.

Dunlap says, "If you think it doesn't matter, then you're surrounding your futures decisions to be made by other people. So, I would urge people to really participate and have your voice be heard."

Polls will close across the state at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.