LWVME Board Approves New Study

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

The LWVME State Board is pleased to announce the launch of a new League study to examine the use of Ranked Choice Voting in multi-member districts to achieve proportional representation.

Join our Study Committee! Email questions or interest to ann.m.luther@gmail.com or deb@themcdonoughs.org.  

Scope of the Study

  1. We anticipate looking at two questions: 
  2. What is our position on using RCV in multi-seat elections?  Our current RCV position only covers single-seat offices. 
  3. What is our position on creating more multi-member districts in order to optimize proportional representation: At the municipal level? At the state legislative level?

Rationale: Why Now?

We have current positions that support both majority rule and minority representation. Accomplishing both should mean that legislative bodies are approximately reflective of the composition of the electorate. Read about our current position here.

Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook are all examining RCV in the context of their municipal elections, and we aspire to promote the use of RCV in additional municipalities, which often include multi-member districts for various offices. The League is the pre-eminent advocate for RCV in Maine, and we are naturally anxious to be relevant to these discussions.

Process: What to Expect

We propose that our national position is broad enough to provide an umbrella for a concurrence process. We believe that promoting member understanding and agreement should be an essential component of the study process, along with public education and dialog. You can find a little more detail and some additional background reading here.

Ann Luther and Deb McDonough have volunteered to co-chair the study committee, supported by staff members Will Hayward, Lane Sturtevant, and Jen Lancaster. We hope that the work can be accomplished before next fall, 2022. 

The first meeting of the Study Committee will be held on Tuesday, January 11, at noontime. Most committee meetings going forward will be midday during the week. If you are interested in working on this important issue but can’t make those times, please let us know.

Email questions or interest to ann.m.luther@gmail.com or deb@themcdonoughs.org.