Ballot Access News
December 1, 2015 – Volume 31, Number 7
This issue was printed on white paper.
Table of Contents
INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING INITIATIVE QUALIFIES IN MAINE MINOR PARTIES FILING THREE NEW LAWSUITS CPD STICKS TO 15% RULE JUST AS EVIDENCE AGAINST IT PILES UP FOUR REPUBLICANS GET FREE TV TIME UTAH REPUBLICAN AND CONSTITUTION PARTIES WIN PRIMARY LAWSUIT INITIATIVES FOR NON-PARTISAN ELECTIONS FOR CONGRESS IN TWO STATES KENTUCKY LIBERALIZES VOTING RIGHTS FOR EX-FELONS SLOW JUDGES TOP-TWO NEWS NINTH CIRCUIT STRIKES DOWN TUCSON’S CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS PETITION RULES FOR INDEPENDENT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CANDIDATES ALREADY ON BALLOT SOCIALIST ALTERNATIVE RE-ELECTS ITS SEATTLE CITY COUNCILMEMBER MINOR PARTIES WIN 14 PARTISAN ELECTIONS ON NOVEMBER 3, 2015 RALPH NADER GETS SOME RELIEF FROM PENNSYLVANIA COURT COSTS SEVERAL PARTIES NOMINATE FOR NATIONAL OFFICE LAST MONTH SUBSCRIBING TO BAN WITH PAYPAL
INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING INITIATIVE QUALIFIES IN MAINE
VOTE SET FOR NOVEMBER 8, 2016
On November 18, the Maine Secretary of State determined that an initiative for Instant Runoff Voting has enough valid signatures and will be on the November 8, 2016 ballot. This will be only the second time in U.S. history that voters have been asked if they wish to implement Instant Runoff Voting for state and federal office.
Proponents needed 61,126 valid signatures. They submitted 75,369, and 64,687 were found valid. The validity rate, 85.8%, is very high, but was bolstered by the fact that so many signatures were collected at the polls in November 2014 and at local elections in 2015.
The only other statewide vote on IRV was in Alaska in August 2002, at the primary. It lost 38%-62%. However, the Maine initiative has more public support than the Alaska initiative had. In the last eight Maine gubernatorial elections, no candidate has received as much as 50% in seven of them. In 2010, Republican Paul LePage was elected with only 38.07%, and in 2006 Democrat John Baldacci was elected with 38.11%. There is a common belief that some of these gubernatorial elections would have had different outcomes if IRV had been used.
Most of Maine’s daily newspapers had already endorsed the measure, even before it got on the ballot. The Maine League of Women Voters has supported the idea since 2011. Other state leagues that also support IRV are the leagues of Arizona, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Vermont, and Washington.
In 2010, the voters of Portland, Maine, passed a local initiative to use IRV in city elections, and it was used starting in 2011.
Starting in 2001, there have been IRV bills in the legislature every session, but they have never passed. In 2013, LD 518 lost in the Senate by 13-20, and in the House by 57-90.
The initiative would apply to primaries and general elections alike. It applies to all federal and state office except President. Voters would be allowed to rank up to six candidates. Voters could rank a write-in candidate, but not more than one.
Since 1880, the Maine Constitution has…