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Maine lawmakers look to delay ranked choice voting until 2022

Monday night, the House passed the Senate version of the bill, to delay ranked choice voting until 2022. (WGME)

AUGUSTA (WGME) -- A special session began Monday in Augusta, taking up citizen initiatives approved by Maine voters last November.

Both the House and Senate passed slightly different versions of the ranked choice voting bill.

Under the House bill, ranked choice voting would start this year for all primaries and federal elections, but not the state general election for the governor's seat or legislative seats.

The Senate version calls for a delay until 2022, but House Republicans and Governor LePage stand in opposition of ranked choice voting.

House Republican Leader Ken Fredette says Maine has always been a winner take all State, and he says even though Maine voters approved ranked choice voting, that's not enough of a reason to amend the way the voting is laid out in the Maine Constitution.

"The Constitution right now allows for a plurality, which means those who get the most votes are allowed to serve,” Fredette said. “We've had that for a long time. Gov. Baldacci was elected with a plurality. Gov. LePage was elected with a plurality. I think the system works and I just don't support this particular idea."

Monday night, the House passed the Senate version of the bill, to delay ranked choice voting until 2022. Keep in mind, the governor can still veto any bill that comes out of the special session.

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