Vote Mar 3 for Ranked Choice Voting

Vote March 3 to Expand Ranked-Choice Voting in Portland!


March 3 is a big day in national politics as 15 states and jurisdictions, including Maine, will vote in presidential primary elections. However, if you’re a Portland voter, you will also vote on whether or not to expand the use of ranked-choice voting in the city’s municipal elections!


Don’t we already have ranked-choice voting in Portland?


We do for mayoral elections, and the process was just used successfully for that office in November 2019. However, we do not yet use ranked-choice voting for other municipal offices in Portland, such as the city council and school board. This proposed charter amendment, if passed, would expand the use of ranked-choice voting to those municipal offices. Over 7,000 Portland voters signed a petition in 2019 supporting this change.


I’m not registered with the Democratic or Republican Party and cannot vote in the presidential primaries. Can I vote in the election to expand ranked-choice voting?


Yes! The election to expand ranked-choice voting is conducted as a special municipal election. This means that any registered Portland voter, regardless of party status, can vote on this issue! And, remember, Maine law allows residents to register to vote on the same day as an election.


Will my regular polling location be open for this special election?


Yes! The Portland City Clerk has confirmed that all polling locations will be open on March 3 for the presidential primary and special municipal election. However, if you live in District 1, Precinct 2 and usually vote at Merrill Rehearsal Hall, you will instead vote at Room 24 in City Hall on March 3. If you’re unsure of your polling location, you can find out where it is here!


I’m out of town on March 3 but want to vote to expand ranked-choice voting, can I get an absentee ballot?


Yes! As always, absentee ballots will be available. If you’d like to request one, you can do so here.


Are there any unique aspects to the ranked-choice voting special election? Will it pass with a majority of votes in support?


Funny you should ask…Because the expansion of ranked-choice voting requires an amendment to Portland’s charter, Maine law states that the ballot question not only needs a majority of “Yes” votes to pass but also needs a total number of votes (both for and against) that equals 30% of the total turnout in Portland during the last gubernatorial election. In simpler terms, if the ranked-choice voting ballot question does not receive a total 10,225 votes (both for and against), it will not pass, regardless of how many people vote in support.


This means that, on March 3, you need to be sure to fill out the extra ballot for the municipal ranked-choice voting election and not just the presidential primary ballot! Also, make sure to spread the word to your Portland friends!