Maine Becomes First State To Try Ranked-Choice Voting for President

Voting for Libertarian, Green, or independent candidates will not mean “throwing your vote away.”


This November, Maine voters won't be "throwing their votes away" if they decide to vote for a third-party candidate because they'll still be able to vote for Joe Biden or Donald Trump.

On Monday, the state's Supreme Judicial Court upheld the use of ranked-choice voting for its presidential and congressional races, resisting efforts by the state's Republican Party to force a stop to its use.

In ranked-choice voting, citizens aren't asked to just choose a single candidate. They are permitted to rank the candidates from most to least favorite. In order to win a ranked-choice vote, a candidate is required to earn a majority of the votes (more than 50 percent), not just a plurality. In the event no candidate gets a majority of the votes, the candidate with the fewest votes is tossed out of the running. Then the votes are tallied again, but for voters whose favorite was just tossed out, their second choice now counts as their vote. This continues until one candidate has earned at least 50 percent of the votes.

Proponents of ranked-choice voting argue that this pushes races away from polarizing winner-takes-all campaigns and allows people to support independent and third-party candidates while still being able to vote for the Democratic or Republican Party nominee if they so choose.

Ranked-choice voting was approved by the Maine voters twice, but the state's Republican Party has been resistant. Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage served two terms without ever winning a majority of the vote. In 2018, Republican incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin ended up losing his U.S. House seat to Democratic challenger Jared Golden, because more independent voters broke in Golden's direction when they ranked the candidates.

Poliquin sued to try to stop ranked-choice from taking his seat away from him and lost. Republicans then gathered signatures to try, yet again, to repeal ranked-choice voting this election. The courts determined the effort did not gather enough signatures, and Maine voters will officially use this system for electing both president and congressional representatives come November (the state's constitution has specific rules for how state lawmakers are elected and does not permit the use of ranked-choice voting).

Maine has five presidential candidates that will be on the ballot. In addition to Trump and Biden, voters can choose the Libertarian Party, Green Party, and Alliance Party candidates. Voters can also rank Trump or Biden (or both, or neither) and have their votes counted.

The latest polling in Maine suggests that ranked-choice voting might not make much of a difference in the presidential election results there. Several polls have Biden crossing the majority vote threshold even when accounting for the influence of the third-party candidates. Maine, though, is one of only two states that directs some electoral votes based on which candidates win individual congressional districts, so Trump could still feasibly pick up an electoral vote while most go to Biden. In the 2016 election, for example, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in Maine—and thus three of its electoral votes—but Trump also picked up an electoral vote as well since he won the most votes in the state's 2nd Congressional District.

On the other hand, Republican incumbent Sen. Susan Collins faces a strong challenge from Democrat Sara Gideon and polls don't currently predict either getting a majority vote. The presence of two independent candidates in the race—Max Patrick Linn, who is running a pro-Trump, anti-immigration campaign, and Lisa Savage, who is running in favor of Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and ending student debt—might also shake things up. Polling from Suffolk University that accounts for ranked-choice voting currently shows Gideon reaping 48 percent of the second-place votes, compared to 19 percent for Collins.

Ranked-choice voting may very well affect Maine's outcomes this November.

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  2. The funny thing is that Democrats think this will help them while Republicans think it will hurt them, however I think it will either be a wash or will in fact bite the Democrats in the ass. How many who vote LP party are really going to select Biden as their second choice compared to Trump?

    1. Republicans claim to support economic liberty while Democrats openly mock it.

      Democrats claim to support personal liberty while Republicans openly mock it.

      In practice there isn’t a significant difference between the two.

      So I guess it’s a coin toss. Personally I value economic liberty. Can’t have personal liberty without it.

      1. And can’t have personal liberty without economic liberty. So I will, as always, vote for liberty, which means that a lot of write-ins would come ahead of Trump or Biden were I in Maine.

      2. Democrats seem pretty openly inimical to personal liberty these days.

        1. Yes, I did hear it was them who were pushing for social media laws and also saying “just take their guns first”.

          Yes, very much Dems.

          1. You mean laws that would remove special treatment for social media? Laws that may force social media companies to ACTUALLY fulfill the requirements of Sec. 230 by ACTUALLY acting “in good faith” instead of blocking, banning, suspending, and demonetizing one political bent, in violation of their own terms of service, while claiming otherwise.

            “Just take their guns first” (I assume you’re referring to Pres. Trump)
            “Take all their guns because they’re all dangerous weapons of war and no one needs them.”

            1. “You mean laws that would remove special treatment for social media?”

              I’m sure you’d prefer that phone companies be sued for what people said over the circuits, right?

      3. Trump judicial nominees are far more likely to defend liberty. Democrat nominees openly favor government over liberty.

    2. Democrats are right to think that. They pretty explicitly created the RCV referendum as a recreation to LePage winning the gubernational election by a plurality twice, and it already cost Poliquin his seat in Congress. He won the plurality, Golden ended up winning once all the RCV votes were tallied. There are a lot of problems with RCV – the cost, the extra times it takes to decide the election, magnifying the problem of voter ignorance, and it can really screw up tight races with many candidates if say, someone ends up winning because they got a ton of third place votes from people who couldn’t even put a face to the name. Approval voting is a much better option in pretty much every measurable way.

      1. *reaction, not recreation.

      2. Well a big problem with approval voting is that it is virtually guaranteed to produce the most bland, boring, centrist candidate who can successfully pander to everyone. Approval voting is the answer to the question of, “How can we get more people like Joe Biden elected?”

        1. So you’d rather have Jill Stein than Joe Biden?

          What we need is more influence from the center, not the radical fringe. People need to come together with what they have in common, not be divided based on whatever some prophet can gin up.

          1. No, we need more influence from the “radical fringe” who have ACTUALLY read the Constitution and want to enforce it as written, as opposed to the majority of BOTH parties and the “center” who want to SELECTIVELY apply and ignore the portions depending on their convenience.

          2. THIS. Instead we have fringe candidates that write policy targeted toward their base and reelection that gets overturned on a change in power.

        2. “Well a big problem with approval voting is that it is virtually guaranteed to produce the most bland, boring, centrist candidate who can successfully pander to everyone.”

          It favors the candidate offering the most free shit.

      3. Approval voting passes the “explain it to Grandma in 12 words or less” test, unlike ranked-choice voting and pretty much all the other alternatives to first-past-the-post. I’ve been pushing for it for years.

    3. If we can assume Green votes to Dems and LP votes to Repubs, Trump would have won Maine’s popular vote by 1,712. So Trump and Repubs would need to make sure they got 95% of the LP listing them as 2nd choice.

      1. Which would incentivize the Republicans to appeal to their more Libertarian members. Which isn’t a bad thing.

        1. The reverse is Democrats would probably feel they need to appeal to their socialist green party members (well more so than they already do).

          1. Is that really possible?

        2. Maine’s Republicans disenfranchised their libertarian members at the 2012 caucus when the Ron Paul supporters won the “winner takes all” vote only to see the Romney crowd getting almost half of the seats given to them for the national convention.

      2. Why would we assume Libertarian votes going to Republicans?

        1. Because the left wants to control everything except who you sleep with. The right just only wants to control who you sleep with. It’s a matter of the lesser of two evils.

          1. Wrong. One party is as bad as the others. Republicans are fucking horrible on civil and personal rights. They want to control women’s bodies, where lgbqt put their genitalia, what you can put in your body, to mix religion and scripture into the government, ban science and put creationism in schools as “fact”. They are far more scary than the democrats.

        2. Because y’all aren’t subtle.

  3. Hm. Maybe I’ll register.

  4. Ranked Choice Voting, when you want Vote Fraud to be the Law of the Land.

    1. “Meet you’re new president, everybody’s third choice.
      No one knew much about him, but 50% really hated the guy the other 50% loved.”

    2. You said it, brother

    3. In all seriousness, why would RCV lead to increased vote fraud?

      1. “Voter fraud” to Azathoth is anything that gets in the way of complete Republican control, and he’s afraid Libertarians will threaten that under RCV since it destroys the whole “spoiler vote” narrative. Simple as that.

    4. Just a bunch of republicans running scared that there might be a chance for 3rd and 4th parties.

  5. If I were a Maine voter, and assuming you can include write-ins in that:


    1. I thought they only allowed three. Maybe I should read the article.

      1. Well, if it’s limited to three and they allow write ins:


        1. Not to be confused with Cthulhu?

        2. Third choice is Janet Mills? Uh. No.

      2. I have read that the version of RCV used in Maine allows voters to rank all of the candidates. I did see a sample ballot (which I can’t find online now), and if I remember correctly, the ballot had only one space for a write-in candidate.

  6. So either the democrat or the republican will get it.

    And thus third parties are nothing but spoilers and your vote didn’t really count.

    1. Well, maybe. Or just maybe this will convince enough of the “don’t throw your vote away” crowd to actually be counted and we’ll discover that there really is enough support for a viable third party in Maine.

    2. Third parties don’t have to win, at least not at first.

      If they publish the results and it turns out 30% voted Libertarian, or Green, as their first choice that will signal to the big parties that they should move in those directions or risk actually losing next time.

      That kind of feedback is absent from the first past the post system most of us use.

      1. I agreed with your comments. I also see a snowball effect over a period of elections. People see that a third party get 20% to 25% on a first ballot they will check that party out and maybe next election the party get 30% to 40%. Well might take a few election but the third party could be a winner.

      2. This is why I’m (albeit only very slightly) happy to live in a state where my vote doesn’t matter so I can vote LP for President with no rational chance (okay, maybe a 0.0000001% chance if I voted every four years until the heat death of the universe) of having “thrown away” my vote changing the outcome of the election.

        I really don’t care who the LP candidate is, I’m trying to send a message to the parties —

        “Hey, here I am over here. I value personal and economic freedom and strongly desire less, rather than more, government interference in people’s lives and pocketbook. If you want my vote, you now know how you might get it

        Ranked choice voting gives everyone this opportunity even if they live in a swing state.

    3. ON the second part, yes, the Republican or Democrat will get it. But it seems like it makes third parties NON spoilers.

      In other words, if all the progressives vote Jill Stein, their vote will go to Joe Biden because Jill Stein will never win the popular vote. Meaning that Joe Biden didn’t ‘lose’ those votes leaving the major contender with a plurality win.

      From my perspective, it removes the spoiler equation, leaving the two party duopoly well in good standing.

      1. Shorter:

        If Maine kind of leans Democrat, now it really…really leans Democrat. Same if this experiment were done in a Republican district.

        1. slightly Republican-leaning district, I should say.

          1. The problem is, it really is “two bites from the apple” for the most outlying voters, but just “one bite” for the centrists.

            I can come up with other scoring algorithms, but the one that Maine uses (and MA is proposing) give the tails of the curve a second vote, and the middle but one.

            And, in the case of the MA proposal, the text of the actual law is unintelligible even to someone used to figuring out word puzzles and writing code. If a law is so poorly written that my grandmother couldn’t have understood it, then it’s poor law.

    4. You don’t know how ranked choice works do you?

  7. I suspect that the Supreme Court is going to shoot this down very quickly, considering that it functionally allows multiple ballots to be cast by a single voter. States get leeway to run their elections…they don’t get to upend the “one person one vote” standard.

    It might have been different if Ginsburg was on the Court, but she won’t be.

    1. Actually, the one person, one vote standard is itself extra-constitutional.

      1. Correct! The “republican form of government” guaranteed by the Constitution only means government of the people, as opposed to a monarchy or other dictatorship. The Electoral College is a prime example of a non-democratic yet republican government. The Senate, as originally elected by the State Legislatures is another. “Of the people” does not necessarily mean “one man, one vote”.

    2. re: “considering that it functionally allows multiple ballots to be cast by a single voter”

      No, it doesn’t. That’s not how instant-runoff elections work at all.

      1. It kind of does, but only one of those ballots is actually applied to determining the winner.

        It’s almost like running a primary (or several primaries) and a general election in immediate succession (this isn’t nearly a perfect analogy, its just the model most people would understand).

      2. Exactly, but I don’t expect the idiots in the comment section to be reasonable.

    3. Look at the countries that have tried this sucker experiment.

      1. Enlighten us, please. Which jurisdictions have tried it and precisely what negative results have been documented?

        1. Australia uses it, but unfortunately allows minor parties to bulk-cast second ballots on behalf of their voters who didn’t specify a second choice. This leads to pre-vote log-rolling and intrigue.

          1. Ewww… that’s some interesting corruption. Turns your third parties essentially into Union grifters that take your money and donate it to a political party without your knowledge.

            Is it at least required to be advertised who their minor parties bulk cast for? Then it would be less corrupt… people who disagree with the bulk cast can write in and those who don’t give implicit consent by leaving it off.

  8. Nice

  9. More proof that Maine doesn’t even really exist.

  10. oh hey we’re smarter than the Founders. ~~~Maine

    1. Remind me of where in the Constitution our current two party system comes from? In fact, the Founders were quite clear that it was up to states to decide how to figure these things out, and it wasn’t until the Seventeenth Amendment that popular voting for Senators even existed.

      1. Washington himself warned against having parties at all, mostly for the reasons our current political climate is illustrating for us.

      2. the 17th is an abomination.

        1. The Senate not quite undemocratic enough for your taste?

          1. You think states deserve no representation, Tony? They brought the federal government into existence after all.

            1. I think states rights arguments have been used overwhelmingly for slavery and Jim Crow policies and somehow completely drop away when it comes to abortion rights or sanctuary cities. The “states” get to make up the senate and select the president, who appoints all the federal judges. How much more representation do you want for shapes on a map, in contravention, often, to the actual will of the people living in them?

        2. Assuming you believe this and aren’t just a Russian troll/bot, it’s just further evidence that the Founders very clearly believed that it was up to the states to figure this stuff out. There is certainly nothing in the Constitution or other statements from the Framers that they thought that First Past the Post voting was the right way to select electors.

  11. Best-case scenario, Republicans implement ranked-choice voting in some states where it can be to their advantage rather than the Donks’, and the Donks do vice versa, etc. So that it won’t be fixed in the public mind as a scheme for Democrats to pick up votes.

    Also, the timing is unfortunate, because if we have a big vote-counting snafu, perhaps the ranked-choice system will take part of the blame.

    1. There is not going to be a vote counting snafu. don’t be a fucking idiot and buy into the republican BS trying to declare that the voting system is rigged just because they might not win. What a load of horseshit.

  12. Good. More voting innovations like this, please.

    1. you already have mail-ballots and Franken’s trunk.

    2. Agreed. How come parties get to come up with new ways to win but the voter himself get nothing. If parties get get gerrymandered districts and voter ID, then the voters should get ranked choice.

  13. Voting for Libertarian, Green, or independent candidates will not mean “throwing your vote away.”

    Wai wai wai wait… I thought voting for third party candidates wasn’t throwing your vote away to being with.

  14. So instead of throwing your vote away, you throw it away in a manner that might allow your last choice to win a plurality on the first ballot?

    1. If you visualize it as a bar graph… the mainstream party with the most sympathetic voters will always win, instead of letting the lesser mainstream party occasionally squeak a victory out because a small number of principled voters decided to go for Jill Stein just this one time. I see RCV as a way for a majority party that has a sliver of an advantage turn it into a permanent advantage.

  15. Apropos of my post above, I’m not against rank choice voting, per se, but I do suspect it won’t have the outcome people think it might… or more importantly, will probably cement the two party system– possibly even strengthening the possibility that the district will be a one-party system. I can kind of see why Republicans are fighting this.

    And I would suspect Democrats would fight it in a district which was a mirror image of Main. The way I see ranked-choice-voting going is that in districts which lean predominantly in a particular direction, there will not be any chance of the opposite-leaning candidate to win for lack of third party spoilers in the camp where the political leanings trend.

    If erstwhile Green Party voters who would normally vote Democrat in the absence of a Green Party candidate, now their votes are going to default to the Democratic candidate when their GP candidate inevitably doesn’t win. All this does is take the ‘gambling’ or ‘principle’ out of your vote and shove them into one or the other ‘default’ camp.

    1. The problem is it doesn’t seem to be implemented in areas with potential Republican voters who are so disgusted with the party they go libertarian or stay home, etc. In such areas, they would have the option of going third party and using their back-up vote for the Republican. Takes the “gambling” out of the equation.

      At least until we get to the vote-counting.

      1. Hopefully we’ll see an honest poli-sci study out of Maine in a few years which will tell us who actually benefited the most from RCV.

      2. For instance, all you have to do is look into who wanted it vs. who didn’t want it, and that’s a pretty good tell as to who it was likely to benefit.

        Last year, the Democratic-led Maine Legislature voted to expand the practice to presidential elections.

        I strongly suspect that this was a strategy by Democrats to nail a permanent majority down in the state.

      3. Republican legislatures obviously have the option to do so, though. It’s not like there’s some Democratic conspiracy to prevent Republicans from implementing ranked choice voting in Nebraska.

        NYC also implemented ranked-choice voting for municipal elections. While it’s true that Democrats drove that decision, the city is so blue that it’s hardly going to influence the Democratic/Republican divide in local elections–it’s probably a case where more liberal groups like the Working Families Party are likely to get more votes in the future and may even have the possibility of making elections competitive with two left-leaning parties because the conservative one is so uncompetitive.

        1. Nebraska is a bad example since the unicameral is non-partisan (no “Republican legislature”) and uses the general election to select two candidates from the entire pool; it’s already a different system from the norm.

      4. I mean, Republicans can swap from supporting voting laws that disenfranchise people to voting laws that make it easier for voters to express their preferences anytime they want.

  16. No vote is ever thrown away, as long as you vote for the candidate your prefer. Imagining you only have two choices and throwing your support behind one of them is the only way to waste your vote, since it won’t affect the outcome, and it prevents your true preference from being recorded.

    1. Normally I would agree with you but with a fucking Russian puppet in the Presidency i think the choice is clear this time around.

      1. If you follow along closely you will find that it was HRC who acquired Russian contacts to use against her opponent.

  17. Support for ranked-choice voting in Maine has largely fallen along partisan lines, which were only amplified in 2018 when U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District, edged out Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin. An exit poll by the Bangor Daily News and the electoral reform group FairVote that year found 81 percent of Democrats wanted to expand ranked-choice voting while 72 percent of Republicans wanted to stop using it.

    Case in point.

    Here’s actually a pretty sober analysis of RCV– a phenomenon called ‘ballot exhaustion’ comes into play.

    1. Her constituents are “people who believe that they should be able to make their own decisions.

      Ok, yeah, no… no Democratic crossover voters here.

    2. Enlightening article.

    3. It is actually much worse than this article indicates. Every month or so I explain that so-called “Ranked Choice Voting” is actually “Instant Runoff Voting”. The discard algorithm used emulates a sequential runoff. But when votes are discarded – and no matter how much the IRV advocates obfuscate – it means the voter intent is thwarted. Moreover, there is the non-monotonicity problem. That means that more higher rankings for a candidate can cause him/her to lose. The opposite is also true – lower rankings can cause a candidate to win.

      The CORRECT ranked system is Condorcet – I call it Instant Round Robin voting. It emulates a round robin tournament and ALL votes are used.

      I quit the Libertarian Party over the failure to push voting reform. And when libertarians do, they do ZERO RESEARCH and jump on the IRV bandwagon. I find it profoundly depressing. But, here I am again.

      Spend some time actually studying this. I’d say a week, a few hours every day should be more than enough. Math is actually at about the 6th grade level at most. This is not hard. I’ve actually put together a PP show to explain how IRV and Condorcet operate “under the hood” and why IRV is both a dangerous non-reform and violates BOTH the Constitution and state voter intent laws.

      My concern is that ultimately, either IRV becomes the norm but leave the two majors in place or, its failures lead to its rejection which kills any consideration of Condorcet – the voting system that will actually make it possible to bring down the two-party system.

      1. Well said. Maine’s calls it “Ranked Choice”, but it’s really IRV, which could be even more polarizing than what we have. That’s because it makes 1st-place votes so important while making last-place votes virtually irrelevant. Once one looks at it that way, it becomes obvious that candidates win by proposing to screw one constituency to gain 1st-place votes from another, and we don’t get good governance from that.

        As you say, Instant-Round-Robin (Condorcet) is best.

        PS: I think I was first to coin the phrase “Instant-Round-Robin”, so I am very pleased to see someone else use it 🙂

        1. It might be a case of great minds thinking alike or it simply being a uniquely rational description of the process.

          In any case, always a nice surprise for find someone else fighting the good fight.

      2. How would a weighted ranking work? Would it alleviate some of these?

        So first choice gets 5 points, last choice gets 1 point, and most points wins?

        1. It’s Borda’s system – he was a contemporary of Condorcet. Ranked magnitude, unlike Cordorcet sometimes fails to find the true preference among three or more choices whereas Condorcet will always find the true prefer if there is one. It is possible for there to not be a single preference but a tie or a cycle. In that case a completion method or tie-break is used.

          Borda’s biggest problem is there is an obvious way of gaming the system – to vote insincerely to favor a preferred candidate. Since Borda actually is used for the NCAA College sports ranks, here’s a simple example that can illustrate. Suppose that Indiana University and Purdue University are generally considered the two strongest basketball teams in the country in a particular year. Let’s assume a cabal of I.U. supporters among sports writes decides they want to favor I.U. among a list of 100 teams. They could rank I.U. #1 (worth 99 points), Purdue #100 (worth zero points), and give their best, honest assessment on the other 98 teams. This sort of gaming won’t work with Condorcet.

          Note: there is a Condorcet tie-break promoted by Duncan Black that uses Borda. It could well invite attempting to game Condorcet by voting in anticipation of a tie.

  18. This November, Maine voters won’t be “throwing their votes away” if they decide to vote for a third-party candidate”

    Lol, right.

    1. Libertarian party votes are the wolves that thin the looter herds and resolve. See “The Case for Voting Libertarian”

  19. No question RCV would have benefited Virginia republicans in the 2013 gubernatorial election and 2014 US senate election.

  20. Isn’t an actual enumeration of votes required for Federal elections?

  21. Perhaps in this case, we might hope that “As Maine goes, so goes the nation” will not hold true.

    (Editorial note: GroundTruth is a Mainer-in-Exile)

    1. “Dirigo” (“I direct”—motto of Maine)—that’s my hope.

  22. Casting a Libertarian spoiler vote that covers the gap is what repeals bad laws. Most of those laws came from when communists and Christian National Socialists were kissing cousins before 1917. When a looter party loses that hand in the till where the LP covered the gap (13 States in 2016), their first act is to loot the planks they think would steal our thunder. Gauntlet voting has led Australia to ruin. They are forced at gunpoint to vote, and the instruction book is as thick as Catch-22. No decent place uses that crummy system.

    1. “They are forced at gunpoint to vote”

      No; as long as they show up at the polling station and register, they are fine—and they get a small deduction on their taxes.

    2. I think you may be talking about the requirement to rank all candidates on the ballot (probably to avoid preference truncation issues, which are not a problem with Condorcet). This, along with a small fine for not voting leads to “donkey voting”, which involves ranking the candidates in the order they appear on the ballot or ranking them in the reverse of how they appear on the ballot. There was also “preference trading” though I think that may have been outlawed.

      For libertarians who (like me) want their own party, IRV just ain’t gonna’ do it. It should be noted that Condorcet should, over time, tend to allow the development of multiple parties in a single-seat representation system. However, the process could take several election cycles to shake out.

  23. I am 55% Republican and 45% libertarian. As I see ranked Choice Voting as I understand Maine has implemented, I would currently choose Republican as my 1st choice and Libertarian as my 2nd.

    I now vote Republican and wish I could vote Libertarian.

    With RCV, both main parties in Texas would start talking to Libertarians because they would want to earn them as a second choice.

    Also, currently my vote is registered on the ballot as 1 for Republican. Zero for libertarian.

    I’m RCV everyone that voted for a main party candidate rather than Libertarian because they don’t want to throw their vote away would get their support for Libertarian recorded and reported in the election. I think that would significantly increase the level of Libertarian interest. I know a lot of people that want to vote libertarian but don’t want to throw their vote away.

    This would be a big win for Libertarian thought in Texas. Because half the people I know in The Republican Party in Texas cringe at certain Republican polices that are unnecessarily controlling social issues that Texas Republicans think they have to push in order to get those”weird” supporters to to win. At least this way they will start catering to the libertarian crowd more to win those votes. This would bring Texas Republicans closer to Libertarian views or at least find a way to win both the “weird”vote and the Libertarian vote.

    1. With respect, the IRV algorithm might well screw you if you voted that way, given non-monotonicity. Condorcet will not jump up and bite you the way IRV can.

    2. “With RCV, both main parties in Texas would start talking to Libertarians because they would want to earn them as a second choice.”.

      This might be true, and in TX might it might benefit Libertarian principles. But of course, both main parties will also start talking to the Socialist, Communist, and/or Marxist leaning party or parties. And I fear that there are a lot more left wing radicals in the country than there are Libertarians.

    3. Unfortunately, Maine’s IRV “discard” system can thwart your intent due to the “non-monotonicity” paradox. Condorcet is the ranked system that will allow you to vote your true preference (Trump, then the Libertarian) without it screwing you.

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  25. She is great women.

  26. This was northern Mass’ solution to Paul LePage being elected to the Blaine House twice when there were appreciable third party candidates that “stole” votes away from the Democratic Party candidate.

  27. Ranked choice voting has led to California only having democrats on the ballot.
    It will have the same effect in Maine

    1. Nope; what California has is quite different.

      1. Nope; it was exactly that. A race to offer who could offer more free shit.

  28. Great idea. I lived in Australia and the Aussies do the same thing and love it. Educational video here:

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  30. Approval voting is virtually the same, but simpler. Vote for all the candidates on the ballot you would approve of holding the office.

    The winner would automatically have the highest approval of all the candidates, and would pursue policies and act to keep the approval of as many people as possible.

    This would be a disaster for Trump who tries to win by angering the largest number of voters possible but in a way that causes them to not vote, or vote in protest for a lower. In 2016, 73 million people voted against Trump, but only 63 million for him, but only 65 million voted for Clinton but in too few states so Trump won the electoral college. In 2016, women and Democrats might have approved of both Clinton and Stein, the two women, and Stein might have won, with those who wanted “disrupt” approving of Stein and Trump as outsiders.

    1. See? Genius here thinks voting for politicians, not principles, is the greatest thing since the capitation income tax.

    2. Trump would not have won the 2016 primaries had the states been using approval voting. The Cruz voters would mostly also have voted for Rubio and the Rubio voters would mostly also voted for Cruz, and both of them would have been ahead of Trump.

      1. That may have been true though the thing to remember is that AV will not aways find the true preference. Read Brams’ and Fishburn’s 1983 (I think it was) book, APPROVAL VOTING. Brams is probably the foremost exponent of AV but he acknowledges that Condorcet is best.

        My reasons for favoring AV in the past were logistics and cost but those are no longer significant impediments.

  31. Maine was the state that sent men with guns out to ban Beelzebub’s beer and install a Liquor Napoleon in 1851, long before drug czarism. It failed miserably and went out for good after the total collapse of the banking system in 1932-33. Libertarian spoiler votes have been increasing by 80% per year, so OF COURSE the Kleptocracy is waving a fake flag to sabotage that hockey-stick curve AND keep the LP off ballots and out of debates as much as possible. Magicians and pickpockets call it misdirection.

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  34. What a shame! Had the states had ranked balloting in 1992, Perot would have been dropped from the ballot, and since those voters most likely voted for Bush as their second choice, the country would have been spared 8 years of Clinton and an additional 20 years of you-know-who! Oh, the lost opportunities…

  35. For an idea of how bad this gauntlet voting system is, observe that when the Libertarian Party tried it we ended up with communist anarchist Jeremy Cohen–Boy Wonder of the Brainless & Boothead Dynamic Duo–as the VP nominee.

  36. Everyone here seems to want this type of voting as long as it would achieve libertarian wins without achieving socialist wins. Too funny.

    In any case, for President, a vote for a libertarian or green would still be a wasted vote in Maine. Can you imagine Maine giving any or all it’s Electoral College votes to the libertarian candidate, and the final EC vote being Democrat: 266, Republican 268, Libertarian 4?

    The race would be decided by the outdated and arcane rules The Constitution has in place for such an outcome, and it wouldn’t be the EC that would decide. The votes would STILL be wasted. Real ranked choice voting for President, which I support whether it results in a socialist or a libertarian outcome – because it is fair and would greatly reduce the payoff for money in politics – would require a Constitutional amendment to work.

    Great thing to do with their Senate and House races though.

    1. I want Condorcet because if we are going to have the people choosing their representatives, their collective choice should not be thwarted just because a third candidate is added to the ballot.

      Self-governing systems tend to commit suicide by the voters making bad choices – the last bad one does them in. Why make things even worse by putting them in the situation where they cannot make their preferred good choice because there are more than two candidates on the ballot?

      BTW, if you think that that proportional representation will solve the problem, think again. A monumental electoral disaster for Turkey happened in 2002 the large number of secular parties split the vote, such that only one met the threshold, while the united Islamist party of Erdogan ended up with control having only 34% of the vote. There are many other problems with proportional representation but this is one that doesn’t often get discussed.

      1. I could go for Condorcet.

        I think the problem you mention with proportional representation could be solved by letting people rank their choices there as well. If a party doesn’t meet the threshold, their second choice gets their votes. I do like proportional representation, because everybody gets the voice they most align with. That seems to me to be a fundamental thing for a society interested in actual representation to avoid as much as practicable forcing people into choices.

  37. RCV seems to me to destabilize in the direction of a single party system of whichever party was in favor when it starts. Normally, when a party in in the majority it loses votes to smaller, often more extreme parties. This allows the second most popular party to come into power and show what it can do for the voters. With RCV, voting for the more extreme parties doesn’t reduce support for the current majority party and they remain in power.

  38. Self-governing systems tend to commit suicide by the voters making bad choices – the last bad one does them in. Why make things even worse by putting them in the situation where they cannot make their preferred good choice because there are more than two candidates on the ballot?

  39. I think the problem you mention with proportional representation could be solved by letting people rank their choices there as well.

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