Re: “Ranked-choice opponents file signatures to try to repeal Maine’s law” (June 15):

The article on the Maine Republicans’ referendum to overturn the Maine law allowing ranked-choice voting for presidential elections gives the impression that the Maine Republican Party and volunteers performed a herculean effort to gather signatures in so little time.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The law took effect Jan. 15 and signature gathering began Feb. 15, but the Maine Constitution prohibits using referendums to overturn a state law. Full stop.

Maine Republican Party Chair Demi Kouzounas’ statement created that impression with three false claims:

• Maine Republicans had “only 64 days” to collect signatures. In fact, Maine Republicans had 123 days, from Feb. 15 to June 15.

• Dedicated Maine volunteers collected signatures. In fact, Republicans couldn’t find enough volunteers and had to pay out-of-state people $3 a name.

• The referendum restores one person, one vote. This is demonstrably false. U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker, a Trump-appointed judge, ruled that ranked-choice voting is one person, one vote because only one ranked choice per voter is counted as a vote.

The executive director of the Maine Republican Party, Jason Savage, claims the referendum is to “make sure the voice of the voters was heard.” The Maine people’s voice was already heard, twice, when they overwhelmingly voted for ranked-choice voting.

The Maine Republican Party claims they turned in 72,000 unverified signatures – the real number is 68,000, of which 63,607 valid signatures of registered Maine voters are required to get the referendum question on the November ballot. Good luck with that!

Tom Waddell

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