June 8, 2016 •
Five Citizen’s Initiatives to Hit Maine’s November Ballot
A record five citizen’s initiatives are set to hit the November ballot.
If all five initiatives pass, ranked-choice voting would replace the current election system (IB 2), a tax surcharge would be imposed on certain households to increase funding for public schools (IB 3), minimum wage would be raised to $12 an hour by 2020, background checks would be required for private gun sales (IB 5), and marijuana use would be legal (IB 6).
Ranked-choice voting ensures the winning candidate, in a multi-candidate race, receives the majority vote because voters rank candidates in order of preference. If a candidate does not receive 50 percent of first-choice votes, then the lowest scoring candidate is eliminated and votes are retabulated.
Despite the Legislature’s intention to kill the bill version of IB 2 in March, voters have the opportunity to pass the initiative this November, much like the passage of IB 1 in November 2015, which revamped campaign finance laws.
If successful, Maine would be the first state to institute ranked-choice voting.
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