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Maine Supreme Court allows ranked-choice voting for presidential election

Maine will now use ranked-choice voting in the November election, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday after a months-long legal battle, making it the first state to use ranked-choice voting in a presidential election. 

When voters in Maine cast their ballots in less than two months, they will be able to rank candidates in order of preference, instead of choosing just one. 

According to the Bangor Daily News, the court ruled Tuesday that Maine’s Republican Party did not gather the required number of signatures necessary to vote on repealing ranked choice. 

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The ruling follows a decision earlier this month from the Maine Supreme Court, which allowed the state to begin printing ballots with ranked-choice voting options ahead of Nov. 3. 

Republicans in Maine have led a campaign to challenge the voting method since the state voted to adopt it for some elections in 2016. Maine first used ranked-choice voting in 2018 for all state and federal primary elections, as well as general elections for Congress. 

Last year, the Democratic-led Maine Legislature voted to expand the practice to presidential elections. 

The Bangor Daily News reported that in the GOP-led effort to strike the move, hundreds of signatures were gathered by two circulators who were not registered to vote in the towns in which they circulated petitions. Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap argued that these signatures should not be counted, while Republicans said Dunlap was disenfranchising voters.

Tuesday’s vote comes with only two weeks left until Maine is scheduled to send out absentee ballots to a large number of voters. 

As of Tuesday, political polling group FiveThirtyEight reported that Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE holds a nearly 14 percentage point lead over President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE in the state. 

Incumbent Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMcConnell tees up Barrett nomination, setting up rare weekend session Collins says running as Independent 'crossed my mind' Republicans advance Barrett's Supreme Court nomination after Democrats boycott committee vote MORE (R), meanwhile, faces a tough race against Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon (D), with a Boston Globe-Suffolk University poll released Monday showing Collins trailing Gideon by 5 percentage points.