Augusta — Lawmakers worked late into the holiday weekend to undo Maine’s ranked-choice voter initiative once and for all.
Beginning this year, candidates for Maine’s governor will be dropped onto an island armed only with their wits.
“It’s up to them to find the weapons they need to survive. We think this is a great compromise between what the people of Maine have shown us they want, and what we, the lawmakers, have decided on a whim,” said Speaker of the House Sara Gideon (D), Freeport.
The ranked-choice voting system was approved in 2016, with many voters hoping the new system would somehow work to retroactively remove Paul LePage from office.
“Sadly, the initiative doesn’t reach back in time, but it’s honestly for the best since that would also have undone Angus King’s wildly popular governorship,” Gideon said.
After wrestling with the best way to strip all meaning from the ranked-choice system the people of Maine voted for, lawmakers decided to make up their own rules on the fly, similar to how they’re treating retail marijuana laws.
“Basically we just do whatever we want. We don’t get paid a lot and last time I was in Augusta the room I stayed in at the Senator Inn smelled like cigarettes pretty strongly,” Gideon explained.
The new system for governor follows the rules laid out in the cult Japanese film Battle Royale, but lawmakers are having a hard time finding an island on which to drop the gubernatorial hopefuls.
“We considered North Haven, but everyone out there is already fighting with each other,” Gideon said.