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posted: 6/14/2018 7:00 AM

Couriers to deliver ranked voting results to Maine's capital

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  • Maine Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Shawn Moody is congratulated by supporters  in Gorham, Maine Tuesday,  June 12, 2018.  Moody won Tuesday's ranked-choice voting primary in the race to succeed Maine's firebrand Gov. Paul LePage, while no clear majority winner had emerged in the Democratic primary.  (Troy R. Bennett/The Bangor Daily News via AP)

    Maine Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Shawn Moody is congratulated by supporters in Gorham, Maine Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Moody won Tuesday's ranked-choice voting primary in the race to succeed Maine's firebrand Gov. Paul LePage, while no clear majority winner had emerged in the Democratic primary. (Troy R. Bennett/The Bangor Daily News via AP)
    Associated Press

  • Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Diane Russell, center, a former state lawmaker, talks with supporters of the ranked-choice voting system outside the group's primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn't just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries.

    Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Diane Russell, center, a former state lawmaker, talks with supporters of the ranked-choice voting system outside the group's primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn't just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries.
    Associated Press

  • Kyle Bailey, a spokesman for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, smiles as he is interviewed at their primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn't just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries.

    Kyle Bailey, a spokesman for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting, smiles as he is interviewed at their primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn't just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries.
    Associated Press

  • Supporters of the ranked-choice voting system embrace outside their primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn't just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries.

    Supporters of the ranked-choice voting system embrace outside their primary night rally shortly after polls closed in Portland, Maine, Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Maine voters didn't just select their favorite candidates, they ranked the candidates from first to last using the system for the first time in statewide primaries.
    Associated Press

 
 

AUGUSTA, Maine -- Couriers will begin delivering ballots to Maine's state capital on Thursday as residents await the results of the nation's biggest test of ranked-choice voting.

A private courier service will start delivering hands ballots and memory sticks to a secure site in Augusta. Vote counting will begin on Friday and continue next week.

The state's top election officials said they may release unofficial election results sometime next week.

Ranked-choice voting works like this: Voters rank candidates from first to last on their ballots. A candidate who collects a majority of the vote wins. If there is no majority, then the last-place candidate will be eliminated and votes reallocated. The process is repeated until there is a majority winner.

The voting system is used in 11 local jurisdictions and was used for the first time in a U.S. statewide primary on Tuesday.

Residents voted to retain the voting system, nullifying a legislative delay and allowing it to be used in November's federal elections in Maine.

Republican businessman Shawn Moody was a majority winner. But no one came close to getting an outright majority to claim victory in the seven-candidate Democratic gubernatorial primary.

In Maine's 2nd Congressional District, Marine Corp veteran and state lawmaker Jared Golden had the most first-place votes in Maine's Democratic congressional primary.

At present, ranked-choice voting cannot be used in state general elections because of state constitutional concerns.

Supporters face stiff Republican opposition with plans to push a constitutional amendment that would allow the system to be used in the governors' race, where nine out of the last 11 elections failed to produce a majority winner.

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