Maine Ranked Choice Voting Gets Spotlight From Jennifer Lawrence - NECN
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Maine Ranked Choice Voting Gets Spotlight From Jennifer Lawrence

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    Emma McIntyre / Getty Images
    Jennifer Lawrence attends 'photo call for Columbia Pictures' 'Passengers' at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on December 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

    Ranked choice voting advocates are bringing out the star power in advance of a referendum aimed at ensuring the system is used in the November election in Maine.

    Actress Jennifer Lawrence has posted a video in support of the voting system online. She called it a "simple, fair, common-sense system of voting."

    Mainers will use ranked-choice voting on Tuesday to sort through a crowded gubernatorial field that includes 11 Republican and Democratic candidates.

    Also on the ballot is a People's Veto referendum aimed at nullifying a legislative delay so that ranked-choice voting can be used in federal elections in Maine in November. Maine voters originally approved ranked-choice voting in 2016.

    Maine is the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting. The system is already used in 11 local jurisdictions across the country, including San Francisco and Maine's largest city, Portland.

    It works like this: Voters rank candidates from first to last on their ballot, and the election is over if one candidate wins a majority. If not, candidates are eliminated one by one and their remaining votes reallocated in what amounts to a mathematical game of survival.

    The eventual winner might not be the candidate who had the most first-place votes, but rather the one who tallies the highest number of second- or even third-place votes.

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