Because Independents often win elections in Maine, and their Governor has won the last two electoral contests with less than 40% of the vote, Pine Tree State voters adopted a new instant run-off system through statewide ballot proposition, which will now be put to the test.
Last night’s Democratic gubernatorial primary ended with appointed Attorney General Janet Mills outpacing businessman Adam Cote 33-28%, but the race is far from over. In years past, Ms. Mills would have been declared the primary winner, but now the instant run-off system takes effect because no one obtained majority support.
Under the procedure, now in use for the first time, the last place finisher’s votes among the eight candidates will be distributed to the other seven candidates. In the primary, voters ranked their preferences from one to eight among the contenders. A last place finisher’s votes are then distributed to the others in the order that the last place finisher’s voters chose. Once those are distributed, the new last place finisher’s votes are then distributed according to stated preference, and so forth until a winner is decided. The distribution will begin Friday, meaning it is likely we won’t have a new Democratic nominee until sometime next week.
On the Republican side, businessman Shawn Moody won the party nomination outright, so he automatically advances into the general election.
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