League Of Women Voters Launches Toolkit For Ranked Choice Voting

Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Jen Lancaster

[Portland, ME] — The League of Women Voters of Maine is launching its first toolkit for Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). The toolkit outlines how individuals can advocate for RCV in their local towns and communities, with steps to take towards adoption and implementation.

Ranked Choice Voting Toolkit

Everyone should feel empowered to bring change to their community. And for those who want to give voters more choice — and more voice — we've published a RCV Toolkit that covers the steps for implementing RCV in your town. We're here to help expand RCV across Maine for municipal elections.

Ten years ago, Ranked Choice Voting was only used in Portland mayoral elections. Now, it is used in all Maine state primaries, all Maine federal elections, Portland council and school board races, and Westbrook mayor, council, and school board races.

Ranked Choice Voting continues to grow in Maine. In Portland and Westbrook, citizens who were passionate about bringing RCV to their communities led the effort to make RCV a reality. David Morse, City Councilor who endorsed RCV in Westbrook, remarked in 2021 that, “This is an inspiring example of how all change really starts from a few individuals who wanted to make something important happen.”

This Ranked Choice Voting Toolkit is a resource to explain what it takes for individuals to bring RCV to their community. It describes the mechanics of how RCV works, what to consider before starting a proposal for local RCV, how to get local RCV on the ballot, and how to win a ballot campaign for local RCV.

“Local, direct democracy is a powerful right. Everyone should feel empowered to bring change to their community,” said Anna Kellar, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters.

The guide is free and available for public use. Anyone who wishes to learn more about implementing RCV in their town should reach out directly to the League at: info@lwvme.org

The League is also hosting an informal Zoom session for the toolkit on Wednesday, March 15, from 5:30 - 6:30 PM. Anyone may register to attend.

Previously, Maine state statute mandated that municipalities without charters elect their local officials by plurality vote, which would have prevented non-charter municipalities from adopting Ranked Choice Voting. However, a bill passed in the 130th Maine Legislature that changed the language of that statute to allow municipalities without charters to adopt alternative voting methods, including RCV. 

The League of Women Voters of Maine supports election systems for offices in single seat elections that require the winner to receive a majority of the votes, as long as the majority is achieved by Ranked Choice Voting, rather than a second, separate runoff election. The League is currently conducting a study to examine the use of RCV in multi-member districts to achieve proportional representation.      

The League of Women Voters of Maine is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.