House Republicans Request Attorney General Opinion on Constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting

Augusta – Thursday afternoon, 56 House Republicans signed on to a letter from Rep. Heather Sirocki to Attorney General Janet Mills requesting a legal opinion regarding the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting here in Maine.

This initiative is set to be sent to the Maine voters but House Republicans believe it would be irresponsible to send an initiative out to the Maine people that may violate the Maine Constitution.

Rep. Sirocki brought this issue up on the floor of the House of Representatives earlier this month in an attempt to get the proposal sent to a Legislative Committee of jurisdiction where it could be properly vetted.

“This bill has failed in committee many times for good reason – I believe because it so blatantly violates our constitution,” Rep. Sirocki said on the floor of the House. “Was the potential unconstitutionality of this proposal to radically change the way we vote explained to more than 60,000 Mainers that signed the petition? Will it be explained to hundreds of thousands of Mainers who are expected to vote on this bill in November?”

In 2013, this proposal was brought up before the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee where Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn, the head of the state’s elections office voiced these same concerns to the committee telling them that RCV “appears to be in conflict with the Maine Constitution.”
Despite Rep. Sirocki’s efforts and those of the House Republicans, Democrats opted to ignore the constitutional issues with this issue and send it out to the voters without a proper vetting.

Below is the letter sent to the Attorney General’s Office:

RCV AG Letter

Below is a link to the roll call vote from earlier this month that opted to send the matter to the voters despite the fact it violates the Maine Constitution:

http://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/rollcall.asp?ID=280059037&chamber=House&serialnumber=469

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