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The push for rank-choice voting

2020 Maine general election featuring rank choice
David Sharp
This absentee ballot for the 2020 Maine general election, photographed on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020 in Falmouth, Maine, shows how Maine voters are allowed to rank presidential and senate candidates in order of ranked choice preference.

For voters in two states, elections are not a choice between two candidates. They list them in the order of preference - first choice, second choice and third choice.

Alaska used this rank-choice voting system earlier this year when it elected its first Democratic member of the house since 1972.

Alaska and Maine are the only states to use the system for their federal elections but some would like that to change.

Proponents argue that the system promotes more moderate candidates and could help turn back political polarization. Detractors say the benefits are overblown and the system can confuse voters.


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