How the Choice vote was cast could determine the functioning of the Senate: NPR

How the Choice vote was cast could determine the functioning of the Senate: NPR

Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins, left, faces stiff challenge from Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon.

Robert F. Bukati / AP


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Robert F. Bukati / AP

Republican Maine Sen. Susan Collins, left, faces stiff challenge from Democratic Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon.

Robert F. Bukati / AP

This November’s closest and most profile U.S. One of the Senate races could turn the unique way of voting in the state of Maine.

There, Republican activist Susan Collins is defending her seat against Democratic House Speaker Sarah Gideon as well as her seat. Two Independents. The poll features a ga contest between Collins, who is seeking his fifth term, and well-funded Gideon.

And Maine voters will use Numbered selection voting systemIs, which allows them to rank their choices among the four Senate candidates.

For someone who is not familiar with the process, it seems complicated. But Karam McCormick, co-founder of the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, says it’s something most people are familiar with.

“We always keep a sequence of choices in our daily lives,” he says. “We always say, you know, ‘If they don’t have mint chocolate chip ice cream, can you please get me a rocky way?’ “In terms of voting, it allows people to really express their full range of opinions and choices about all the candidates who are participating. And that’s definitely working for us in Maine. And I think it certainly encourages more positive campaigns.” “

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Kathleen Montejo, city clerk in Lewiston, Maine, says the ballot that voters will use is pretty simple.

“Once people see it, it looks quite intuitive, and you fill a little bubble,” she says. “It’s like taking a SAT test, almost years ago. You know and you fill in the little bubbles.”

Montejo says that once voters see it, their reaction is, “‘Oh, this isn’t as bad as I expected. This sounds very straightforward and simple.’ “

The state’s 2018 federal election used a first-rate selective voting system, so Maine voters are becoming more comfortable and familiar with the process.

But Montejo says many still have questions. “The number one question we’ve always gotten from people we know is, ‘Do I have to rank every candidate? Or if I just choose my first rank and don’t rank other candidates, will my vote still count?’ And the answer is yes. “

The numbered selection vote will be implemented only if no candidate gets a majority i.e. 0% plus one vote. It happened in 2018 in Maine’s second congressional district. Republican incumbent Bruce Polyquin won a majority, not a majority, and after counting the voters’ other choices, Democrat Jared Golden won the seat.

This year’s U.S. In the Senate race, one candidate, the independent Lisa Savage, uses the ballot of choice in her message, telling voters she has her first choice and Democrat Gideon her second choice.

Mark Brewer, a professor of political science at the University of Maine, says it’s a problem for Collins.

“Assuming Gideon is second to Savage’s supporters in the rank-and-file voting plan, which Savage tells them to do, this now turns into a disadvantage for Collins.”

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But it is not clear how the votes of the two independent candidates could be broken, with recent polls showing everyone with almost equal votes.

In a statement, the Collins campaign says “there is a clear choice” and it encourages voters to choose Collins as their first choice.

Republicans in the state Continue the challenge The court placed a vote of choice, as it also applies to the presidential race.

Maine has voted electorally for each of the winners in the state’s two congressional congressional districts. Anna Keller, executive director of the Maine League Dem f Woman Waters, says that while Democrat J B Biden shows up with an overall lead across the state in the polls, it is the closest race in the rural 2nd district.

“The race between Biden and [President] That district has Trump neck and necklace. “He says.” So votes cast for a third party or independent candidate could play a role if both do not get a majority. But, instead of spoiling those candidates, other choices will probably decide the votes. “

So Maine’s numbered choice voting system can only have an impact on the makeup of the U.S. Senate – but, presumably, who wins the presidency.

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