FILE - In this June 15, 2018 file photo, Maine election workers begin scanning and uploading election results trickling in from across the state, in Augusta, Maine. A new system known as ranked choice voting was used to decide results in the Democratic primary and also will be used in the November general election. (AP Photo/Marina Villeneuve, File)

A new kind of voting faces Election Day test in Maine

October 24, 2018 - 10:23 am

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A system that allows voters to rank their candidates from first to last on the ballot is getting its federal general election debut in Maine.

The ranked-choice voting system will be used for the first time in U.S. House and Senate races on Election Day. Advocates hope the system will catch on with other states.

It works like this: Voters rank the candidates on the ballot, and a candidate garnering a majority of first-place votes is the winner.

If there's no majority winner, then the last-place candidate is eliminated and votes are reallocated. The process is repeated until there's a majority winner.

Advocates say the system ensures broad support for the winner while eliminating the impact of spoilers and discouraging negative attacks for fear of alienating voters.

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