Augusta — Maine’s historic ranked choice ballots have been revealed by state officials, showing how elections will be decided starting this year.
In past elections, voters would simply check the box for the candidate they preferred. However, a 2016 referendum changed the process, with Maine becoming the first state in the union to adopt ranked-choice voting.
Instead of voting for one candidate, voters will rank their choices like a BuzzFeed article. Ballots are hand-delivered to every eligible voter by each candidate, passed during homeroom.
The ballots simply ask “do you want me to be governor?” and provide three choices: yes, no, and maybe.
“No other state has made voting as much fun as Maine,” one official said.
The state legislature has worked hard since the referendum passed to make sure it didn’t become the law of the land. They were worried too many constituents would check “no” when asked “can I be your representative” on a hand-written, carefully folded ballot.
“The ‘maybe’ choice is the most innovative of them all,” the official said. “It shows there’s still a real possibility that the voter might want the candidate to be governor without the voter having to commit to a positive vote.”
The results are tallied up and ‘yes’ votes equal 3 points, ‘maybe’ votes are 1 point, and ‘no’ votes are minus-1 point.
“The hope is elections will take months to tally, letting legislators and governors know what it’s like for us, the voters, every time we vote in a referendum and they tie it up for months or years through needless committees and other time wasting measures.”
“We still can’t go into a store to buy pot, for Chrissakes.”