Couriers Deliver Ranked Voting Results to Maine’s Capital

US Maine Primary
Charles Krupa/AP

Couriers began delivering ballots to Maine's state capital on Thursday as residents await the results of the nation's biggest test of ranked-choice voting.

The courier service contracted to retrieve ballots for additional rounds of ranked-choice tabulations says the process is going smoothly.

Mike Israelson from General Courier said drivers had already stopped at about 80 communities by 9 a.m. Thursday. All told, courier drivers have to visit hundreds of towns, including some islands, to retrieve ballots.

Maine was the first state to employ the ranked-choice voting system in statewide primaries on Tuesday.

Additional rounds of tabulations are required in the Democratic gubernatorial primary and 2nd Congressional District race.

Once all of the ballots are in Augusta, state election officials will eliminate the last-place candidate, reallocate votes, and run more tabulations. The goal is to get a majority, consensus winner.

Vote counting will begin on Friday and continue next week.

Residents voted in Tuesday's primary to retain the voting system, nullifying a legislative delay and allowing it to be used in November's federal elections in Maine.

Republican businessman Shawn Moody was a majority winner. But no one came close to getting an outright majority to claim victory in the seven-candidate Democratic gubernatorial primary.

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