Ranked choice voting advocates are bringing out the star power in advance of a referendum aimed at ensuring the system is used in the November election in Maine.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence has posted a video in support of the voting system online. She called it a “simple, fair, common-sense system of voting.”
Mainers will use ranked-choice voting on Tuesday to sort through a crowded gubernatorial field that includes 11 Republican and Democratic candidates.
Also on the ballot is a People’s Veto referendum aimed at nullifying a legislative delay so that ranked-choice voting can be used in federal elections in Maine in November. Maine voters originally approved ranked-choice voting in 2016.
Maine is the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting. The system is already used in 11 local jurisdictions across the country, including San Francisco and Maine’s largest city, Portland.
It works like this: Voters rank candidates from first to last on their ballot, and the election is over if one candidate wins a majority. If not, candidates are eliminated one by one and their remaining votes reallocated in what amounts to a mathematical game of survival.
The eventual winner might not be the candidate who had the most first-place votes, but rather the one who tallies the highest number of second- or even third-place votes.