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The Maine Experience with Ranked Choice Voting

Thu, August 29, 12:00 to 1:30pm, Marriott, Balcony B

Abstract

Maine recently became the first state to adopt ranked choice voting rules (RCV) for most state and federal elections. How are these voting rules implemented and how do voters experience these rules in a highly decentralized system of election administration? First, we examine ballot image data to assess voting behavior in Maine’s RCV elections. Some argue that voters may be confused by RCV rules. We compare under voting and spoiled ballots in the RCV contests to prior Maine elections using plurality rules. Second, we report results of a survey of town clerks in Maine, conducted shortly after the 2018 elections. The survey asks town clerks about their experience implementing RCV rules for the first time. The 2018 elections in Maine serve as early tests of RCV.

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