“PORTLAND, (AP) — The election drew to a close last week in most places but not in fishing villages, potato farms and vast tracts of wilderness that comprise Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
The four-way political battle won’t conclude until a computer algorithm has the final say this week on whether Republican Rep. wins re-election or is ousted by Democratic state lawmaker .
The new way of voting in which all candidates are ranked on a ballot made its national debut in U.S. House and Senate races in Maine.
Under the system, a candidate wins with a majority of first-place votes. If there’s no majority, the last-place candidate’s second-place votes are reallocated to remaining candidates. The computerized process can be repeated until there’s a winner.
Across the country, voting reform advocates are watching as the system faces its biggest test in the most expensive race in Maine history. “This will either fuel the adoption of ranked-choice voting in other jurisdictions, or it will stop it in its tracks,” said Corey Cook, dean of the School of Public Service at Boise State University, who has studied 100 elections that used the system.
Maine residents approved the system in 2016 after nine of the previous 11 gubernatorial elections resulted in winners who failed to get a majority of the vote.”
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