Maine Ranked Choice Voting Expert Coming to Montpelier

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 28, 2019

Maine Ranked Choice Voting Expert Coming to Montpelier

Thursday April 4th 5:30 – 7 Vermont Statehouse                                

MONTPELIER, VT – On Thursday April 4th a coalition of Democratic, Progressive, and independent lawmakers from across Vermont will be hosting a public information session on a Ranked Choice Voting proposal introduced in the Vermont Legislature. The proposed legislation is modeled after Maine’s successful 2016 law, and would adopt Ranked Choice Voting for most primary elections and for congressional races. Kyle Bailey, key organizer from the Maine effort, Vermont’s Lieutenant Governor and a number of public interest groups familiar with Vermont’s previous Ranked Choice Voting efforts will join sponsors of the bill from 5:30 – 7 pm in Room 10 of the Statehouse.  Brief voting demonstrations and historical presentations on the Maine and Vermont efforts will be followed by an opportunity for legislators and the public to ask question.

House bill H.444 is receiving testimony in the Government Operations Committee where it will have until Spring of 2020 to be voted out and sent to the Senate. If enacted, Ranked Choice voting would begin in the 2024 primary elections and would make Vermont the second New England state to adopt Ranked Choice Voting for state and federal elections. There is a similar proposal currently before the Senate Government Operations Committee.

WHY IT MATTERS: Ranked Choice Voting eliminates vote-splitting between like-minded candidates and voters in races with more than two candidates, which are common in Vermont. It restores majority rule and gives voters more choice in our democracy to vote their hopes, and not their fears.

HOW IT WORKS: Ranked Choice Voting gives voters the choice to rank candidates in order of individual preference and requires a majority vote in order to win an election. Ballots are counted in rounds until one candidate reaches a majority and wins. If no candidate receives a majority in a round, the last place candidate is removed and that candidates’ voters second choice votes are counted. The process continues until a candidate reaches a majority and wins/

Click here for a one-minute demonstration video from Minnesota

Kyle Bailey managed the historic 2016 ballot measure campaign that won Ranked Choice Voting for state and federal elections in Maine, and the 2018 ballot measure campaign that protected that landmark law. In 2012, Bailey helped to secure another first-in-the-nation victory at the ballot box in Maine for the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Bailey has worked on candidate and referendum campaigns for the past seven cycles, including several statewide candidates.

Supporters of the bill have been gathering regularly to plan events, voter demonstrations and public outreach. A public website has been launched at www.RankedChoiceVt.com as well as a Facebook page @RankedChoiceVt and supporters are tweeting from @rankedchoicevt

CONTACT:

Rep. Laura Sibilia | 802-384-0233 | lsibilia@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman | 802-235-2050 | rchesnuttangerman@leg.state.vt.us

Rep. Randall Szott | 802-392-3039 | rszott@leg.state.vt.us

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