Here’s what to know about the system.
It lets voters literally rank their choices in order of preference, marking candidates as their first, second and third choice picks (and so on).
The winner must have a majority (more than 50% of the votes) rather than a plurality (simply the most votes).
In Maine, ranked choice only takes effect when three or more candidates are on the ballot. Voting is counted by round, with lowest-ranked candidates eliminated in each round until only two candidates remain.
How long does it take?
On election night, if there is no clear winner with more than 50% of the vote, counting goes into ranked choice voting tabulation rounds. In Maine, couriers are sent around the state to either collect actual ballots or memory devices and brought to a secure location at the State Capitol in Augusta. There, high speed tabulators count the results and determine the winner.
“The process takes about a week, a week and a half,” Kristen Muszynski, communications director for Maine’s secretary of state, told CNN.
Do you have to rank every single candidate?
No. A voter only needs to mark a first choice, or as many as they want.
Why vote this way?
Advocates say it helps prevent spoiler candidates — and ensures the candidate with the most support wins, rather than one who emerges from a crowded field with a small plurality of votes.
Who else does it?
What’s the argument against it?
Two California governors have vetoed measures that would implement ranked choice voting for cities and towns across the state, even though it was already in use by San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro.
Who else is thinking about it?
It would not apply to elections for president, county commissioner or regional district school committee member.
The city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has used it to elect its city councilors and school committee members since the 1940s. Cambridge resident (and Massachusetts Senator) Elizabeth Warren recently backed Massachusetts’ effort in an op-ed with Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin. Takoma Park, which is in Raskin’s congressional district, has used ranked choice voting since 2007 for all mayor and city council elections.