MGIP Statement, Ranked Choice Voting
On Monday, November 6th at 4 p.m., less than 24 hours before the polls opened in Maine, the Secretary of State, Matt Dunlap, released the wording of the People’s Veto petition to overturn the Legislature’s egregious action in a recent special session. The bill that was passed and signed into law by the governor, thwarted the will of Maine voters regarding Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). In November, 2016, people of Maine voted in the second highest majority in the history of state referendums, in favor of using RCV in state elections.
In spite of the not-quite-totally-obstructionist timing of the release of the petition wording, a small but mighty cadre of volunteers grabbed the petitions hot off the presses that evening and distributed them statewide. Hundreds of poll sitters gathered thousands of signatures on Nov. 7th to allow the people’s veto language on the ballot next June and open the way for use of RCV in the June primaries.
The People’s Veto has 90 days to collect close to 70,000 signatures across the state. This is a steep climb for a small, rural state, but we can do it. Our goal is to collect the necessary signatures by Dec. 15.
Betsy Garrold, former Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair and coordinator for the effort in Waldo County, said, “As I sat at the polls in my small town, I was amazed at the energy and anger this issue has generated. Even folks who were not in favor of RCV itself, signed the petition to send a message to the legislature to abide by the will of the people.”
Anyone who is a registered Maine voter wishing to participate in collecting signatures, should go to the website and sign up: http://www.rcvmaine.com/sign-up or use the form on this page.
This is a shoestring operation that could use an infusion of cash so if you are out of state and want to support our efforts please go to the RCV page and donate: https://mainercv.nationbuilder.com/donate.
The whole nation is watching this effort, but Maine activists are used to that. After all, the Maine State motto is Dirigo, which means “I lead!”
Betsy Garrold President, Board of Directors Food for Maine's Future