June 19, 2013

Eliot Cutler calls for Maine election changes

The Associated Press

PORTLAND — Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler is calling on his likely opponents to support either a run-off election or ranked-choice voting in the 2014 election to ensure Maine's next governor earns at least 50 percent of the vote.

In a letter Wednesday, Cutler asks Republican Gov. Paul LePage and Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud to support election law changes so the next governor has to get a majority vote.

LePage narrowly defeated Cutler in 2010 with just 38 percent of the vote.

David Farmer, a volunteer spokesman for Michaud, says the congressman's confident he'll get more than 50 percent if he runs. He says Michaud, who's formed an exploratory committee, won't take a position on Cutler's proposal without more details.

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett didn't immediately return a call for comment.

The Maine Legislature has taken up two bills that would change statewide elections to a ranked-choice voting. Both were soundly defeated by Democrats, who control the Legislature. Previous efforts were rejected when Republicans controlled the Legislature between 2011 and 2012.

-- Staff Writer Steve Mistler contributed to this story.

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