Making Democracy Work

League of Women Voters of Maine Urges Law Court to Reject Last-Minute Challenge

Press Release April 12, 2018

League of Women Voters of Maine submits amicus curiae brief urging Court to reject challenge that originated with a divided vote of State Senate.

Portland - The League of Women Voters of Maine filed a brief this morning urging the Law Court to reject legal challenges and uphold ranked choice voting.

"It is now time to put a stop to the never-ending attacks on ranked choice voting," said John Brautigam, legal counsel for LWVME. "The prolonged assault on the will of the voters started with legitimate disagreements, but is beginning to look like an intentional effort to disrupt the election just weeks away. These tactics do not serve the public interest."

The Secretary of State has devised a plan to implement RCV in time for the June 12 vote without requiring any additional funds or new action by the legislature.

"With Justice Murphy's earlier decision, RCV opponents have now lost their cause in not one, not two, but all three branches of government," said Brautigam. "The RCV law will stand up to any legal scrutiny, and we are confident that the Law Court will agree. It is now time to let the Secretary of State do his job for the June primary, according to the law and without delay or distraction."

The ten-page brief was filed under extraordinary circumstances, with the Law Court allowing less than 18 hours for submission of briefs and oral argument. The urgency results from the Senate's decision to sue the Secretary of State just days before a critical ballot printing deadline. Late yesterday afternoon Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy released a list of seven questions for the Law Court to consider, as raised by the Senate.

The LWVME brief -- written overnight by a legal team from the Verrill Dana law firm -- argues that the Court should not nullify the vote of 388,273 Maine citizens on the basis of a last minute plea from the sharply divided State Senate. The brief argues that the statute is entirely constitutional, and that important principles of separation of powers prevent the Courts from repealing the will of the voters or second-guessing election administration in this case.

The LWVME brief is posted at http://www.lwvme.org/RCV.html. The Attorney General and other parties are expected to file briefs as well.

Learn more about RCV at Maine Uses RCV's new website: http://www.mainerankedchoice.vote. Please also visit http://www.LWVME.org and http://www.mainecleanelections.org for information about the organizations behind this project.