Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he does not expect to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary election results because he claims the state’s new ranked-choice voting system is unconstitutional, The Huffington Post reports.
Maine began using ranked-choice voting for the first time Tuesday. Under the system, voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate wins a majority, the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated and votes for that candidate will go to the voter’s second choice instead.
“I will not … certify ranked-choice voting because it is unconstitutional,” LePage told Maine Public Radio. “The Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional.”
Maine’s secretary of state, Democrat Matt Dunlap, said the governor’s threat was toothless.
“It really doesn’t make a difference. His authority to certify is inherent in election results; the primary is a nomination, not an election. So he can’t prevent people from qualifying for the November ballot,” Dunlap said.
“Gov. LePage has never missed an opportunity to misrepresent facts, spread false information, and exaggerate situations to try to achieve his ends,” state Democratic Party chairman Phil Bartless said in a statement. “At this point it’s clear he’s doing it not because he’s simply misinformed but because he wants to create chaos — and that’s not only reckless, but deeply irresponsible.”