Elections in Maine

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Election results in Maine comprise voting for local, gubernatorial and federal public offices, members of the state legislature, as well as ballot measures. Congressional elections are held every even year (2012, 2014, 2016), and gubernatorial ones every off-presidential even year (2010, 2014, 2018).

The results of the elections are often varied. Maine is seen as a swing state, unusually high support for independent candidates. The Republican Party have won Maine in 11 out of the past 20 presidential elections, and the governorship has been won by Democrats and independents three times each, and Republicans four times, since 1974.[1][2]

Maine has used the congressional district method for allocating electors in presidential elections continuously since the 1972 election.[3] Despite this, the winner of the state won all the congressional districts until 2016, when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won all but the 2nd district, which she lost to Republican Donald Trump, who would later go on to win the election.[4][5]

Maine is the first and so far only state to have introduced ranked choice voting in elections, and became the first to use it in a presidential election, in 2020.[6]

Voting method[edit]

Maine used the first-past-the-post voting system for all elections until 2017, when it was replaced with ranked choice voting upon enactment of the Ranked Choice Voting Act, which had previously been approved by voters in a referendum in on November 8th, 2016.[7] The system was first used on June 12, 2018, in the primaries for the 2018 United States elections, and Maine became the first state to use ranked choice voting in a federal election on November 6th, 2018, when it was used in the main election itself.[8]

Since its enactment, numerous attempts have been made to repeal the act, or delay its effects. After the act was passed in 2016, legislators voted for the suspension of the law until December 2021, thus making it inoperative until the 2022 United States elections. This was subsequently vetoed by voters, who gathered enough signatures on a petition to allow the system to be used.[9][10] The state's senate took legal action to attempt to disallow the petition, but the Maine Supreme Court issued a ruling enabling ranked choice voting to be used in the 2018 election.[11] The Maine Republican party also attempted to block the use of the system in the 2020 United States elections via legal action, but the Maine Supreme Court dismissed the suit, allowing Maine to become the first state to use ranked choice voting in a presidential election.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maine Presidential Election Voting History". 270toWin.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  2. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  3. ^ "Split Electoral Votes in Maine and Nebraska". 270toWin.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  4. ^ "Split Electoral Votes in Maine and Nebraska". 270toWin.com. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  5. ^ "Maine Election Results 2016". The New York Times. 2017-08-09. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  6. ^ FairVote.org. "Timeline of RCV in Maine". FairVote. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  7. ^ "Citizens? Guide to the 2016 Maine Referendum Election available online". www.maine.gov. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  8. ^ FairVote.org. "Timeline of RCV in Maine". FairVote. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  9. ^ "Secretary Dunlap issues petitions for people's veto of ranked choice voting law". www.maine.gov. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  10. ^ "Ranked-choice voting people's veto effort found valid with 66,687 signatures". www.maine.gov. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  11. ^ "Supreme Court decision confirms Secretary Dunlap's plan to implement ranked-choice voting". www.maine.gov. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  12. ^ "Maine to use ranked voting for president after repeal fails". AP NEWS. 2020-07-15. Retrieved 2020-09-19.

External links[edit]