Westbrook residents will vote on using ranked choice voting at the municipal level in November.

City Councilors voted unanimously Monday to put the measure on the ballot. Council President Gary Rairdon, who previously spoke against it, and Councilor Elliot Storey were absent. No members of the public spoke on the topic at the meeting.

If approved by voters, ranked-choice voting would be used in the mayor’s race and to elect city councilors and other applicable local seats when there are three or more candidates and no candidate has won by more than 50% of the votes.

Using the system, voters may rank the candidates in the order they prefer. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the popular vote, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and that candidate’s supporters’ second choices are then counted. The process continues until one candidate gets more than 50%.

The change would cost about an additional $30,000 per election. City Clerk Angela Holmes said ranked choice voting would have been applicable in four elections between 2013 and 2019, including two mayoral races.


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