The Latest: Official says LePage can’t block primary results
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Latest on Maine’s primary elections (all times local):
Maine’s top election official says Republican Gov. Paul LePage can’t stop primary election results from moving forward.
Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said the governor could refuse to sign a proclamation of the results. But he said the governor doing so won’t prevent nominations from taking effect.
LePage on Tuesday says he “probably” won’t certify results from the nation’s first ranked-choice primary.
But Dunlap says Maine law only talks about certifying who is actually elected to Maine office.
On Tuesday, Maine voters are deciding who will face off in November gubernatorial and legislative elections. Voters will also decide whether to keep ranked-choice voting for future primaries and federal elections.
Maine’s Republican governor says he “probably” won’t certify election results from the nation’s first ranked-choice primary.
Gov. Paul LePage raised the possibility in an interview with WCSH-TV, saying he may leave it up to the courts to decide the outcome.
Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s spokeswoman said Dunlap is seeking clarification from the attorney general’s office.
LePage called the voter-approved system the “most horrific thing in the world.”
Maine voters on Tuesday are also voting on whether to keep ranked-choice voting for future primaries and federal elections.
A spokesman for the ranked choice voting campaign said it’s outrageous that a governor would question the validity of election results.
LePage’s office told The Associated Press that “voters need to vote” Tuesday.
Residents in Maine who are headed to the polls are using ranked-choice voting for the first time in a statewide primary in the U.S., and they’re also deciding whether to carry it forward to the November federal elections.
Voters are ranking their candidate preferences from first to last, and the election is over if one candidate wins a majority on Tuesday. If not, then the ballots will be shipped to the state capital for additional rounds of tabulations next week.
A field of seven Democrats and four Republicans are vying to fill the office that’s being vacated by firebrand Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
Most voters on Tuesday seemed to grasp the new ballot.
David Kuchta (KUK-tuh), of Portland, said he wasn’t confused. The Democrat joked that he can “count to seven and they can do the math on the other end.”
Maine voters have plenty of candidates to choose from to replace firebrand Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
A field of 11 Democrats and Republicans are seeking party nominations for the opportunity to succeed the term-limited governor.
Tuesday’s primary elections are being decided for the first time with ranked-choice voting.
Voters will rank their candidate preferences from first to last, and the election is over if one candidate wins a majority.
If not, the ballots will be shipped to Augusta for additional rounds of voting next week. The last-place candidate will be eliminated and votes reallocated. There can be as many rounds as necessary until a candidate gets a majority.