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Maine Voters Choose To Keep New Ranked-Choice System

Kyle Bailey, a spokesman for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, smiles as he is interviewed at their primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn’t just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

It was a big night for supporters of ranked-choice voting.

Not only did they grab the national spotlight for making Maine the first to use the system in a statewide race, they also appear to have passed a ballot question that overturns the Legislature’s attempt to delay and repeal the law voters passed in 2016. The victory will increase chances that the election overhaul will be used for federal races in November and potentially after that.

Kyle Bailey took the makeshift stage at the Urban Fermentory and Brewery in Portland shortly after midnight to give a victory speech that was cautiously triumphant.

“So the national partner for the Bangor Daily News has called the race for Yes on 1 …. now, I want to be clear there are still thousands of votes to be counted across the state of Maine. And we want to make sure every vote counts.”

The Associated Press would also call the race for Yes on 1 about an hour later when the ballot question had garnered an eight point lead with 60 percent of precincts reporting.

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