Rank Choice Voting Principles and Strategies
Whether you like it or not, it appears Maine will be the first state in the history of our country to determine a Presidential winner through Rank Choice Voting. Now is not the time to argue RCV’s merits or lack thereof. As voters prepare to make their choices for President, U.S. Senate, and Congress, they need to know how to vote within the RCV parameters most effectively. I want to share a few principles and strategies to keep in mind:
- Never include a candidate on your ballot you do not want to see elected. You do not have to rank candidates you do not support.
- You can vote for just one candidate; this strategy is known as bullet voting. This will not invalidate your ballot. Please see example below. ***For example, in the Second Congressional District, you have the choice between pro-life candidate, Dale Crafts, and Planned Parenthood sponsored candidate, Jared Golden.
You are not required in any way to vote for anybody except the candidate of your choice.
- You can make your first choice your subsequent choices as well.
In other words, you can vote for the same candidate multiple times. This strategy will not give extra votes to your candidate, but it will prevent someone from tampering with your ballot. For example, look at the Presidential race. If you support Donald Trump, you could make all five choices for him. Please see example below.
- If you choose a write-in or third-party candidate, consider the value of still including the major party candidate as your second choice. For example, in the U.S. Senate race, if you decide to vote for a write-in candidate instead of Susan Collins, while we do not recommend this, we urge you to still choose Susan Collins as your second choice and leave the other two blank. Please see example below.We want you to have confidence to know that these strategies will in no way cause your vote not to be counted. We have researched the strategies and have confirmed their validity with the Secretary of State’s office. Please see the Secretary of State’s video regarding Rank Choice Voting below.