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thank you for joining us for today's webinar Maine's rcv primary a first-hand account from the Secretary of State the webinar will begin shortly my name is Karen Brinson bell and I'm a member of the rank-choice voting Resource Center consulting team I will be your moderator for today's session first we need to cover a few housekeeping matters participants have been muted for this webinar to reduce audio interference since we have a maximum number of attendees with us today if you have technical issues please use the question option to send a message to the organizer so we may try to assist to expand or minimize the control panel click the orange arrow of your webinar task bar if you have a question or comment regarding the webinar please type that message in the question box to keep this webinar to about 45 to 50 minutes and out of respect for your time there will only be a brief question and answer session at the end questions we are unable to address during this live session will be answered in a follow-up document that will coordinate with the Secretary of State's office and we will email that to the attendees and also post the Q&A document with a recording of this session on the rank-choice voting Resource Center website in one to two weeks the rain' choice voting Resource Center provides a compilation of best practices and first-hand experiences from jurisdictions that have used this method of voting the website WWH joyce voting org and the overall project serve as resources for voters election administrators policy makers candidates and others the rain' choice voting Resource Center team is not advocacy focused rather we aim to provide resources that allow jurisdictions to implement ranked choice voting effectively and efficiently with extensive elections experience and working together overseeing statewide municipal & district RC V elections our team has focused on expanding the resources and information available regarding the administration of and education about this voting method we are available to discuss whether or not our CD is an option for your jurisdiction and to assist in developing implementation plans processes for tabulation results voter education and more our services are free and include travel now I'm going to turn it over to Gary Bartlett who's the director of the ranked choice voting Resource Center and former state elections director for North Carolina when rate choice voting was used in that state he will introduce today's presenter thank you Karen and thank everyone and welcome to our webinar on mains ranked choice voting primaries I had the honor to introduce the Honorable Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap secretary Dunlap is Maine's 49th Secretary of State and it's the first person since the 1980s to serve non-consecutive terms in that office he previously served three terms as the 47th Secretary of State and he is a past president of the National Association of secretaries of state he served four terms in the Maine House of Representatives representing part of Old Town and Indian island voting district in recognition of his hard work he received Maine's public administrator of the year in 2008 he resides in Old Town with his wife in their daughter Karen Brinson Belle and I had the opportunity to visit with secretary Dunlap in October he was very generous with his time he gave an oral history of the beginnings of rank-choice voting in Maine the players and adversaries we left with a better understanding and were grateful we thank secretary Dunlap Julie Flynn staff and election officials in Maine for a successful ranked choice voting primary with a modest budget now the Honorable Matthew Dunlap well thank you very much Gary for that very generous introduction the I am Matt Dunlap I live up in up in Old Town Maine and this as he said I'm the secretary of state and what I'm gonna show you now I'm gonna go through this probably fairly quickly is a the slide show that we put together for the public as we were trying to educate people about what to expect with rank-choice voting and this is I'm going to go through this pretty quickly because a lot of it covers some of what Gary just described the legislative and legal history which is probably a little bit less relevant to this audience I think what you're probably more interested in is you know how we did it and how it came out so I'm gonna go through this pretty quickly on that so this is the cover slide which is very exciting and so what we're we're telling about telling people about and this has been modified because we also did this as part of the NASS conference we presented this at the NASS conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago so these are photographs from the actual tabulation process that we were doing in Augusta Maine the Capitol in order to make this whole thing work so I'm gonna go through that I can say fairly quickly so this was the first time any state had used rank-choice voting in a statewide election and what we really the number one question that we got from voters as we went out on the road was do I have to rank all my choices and the answer course is not you you can only vote for one candidate if you choose and what our goal here was to tell people you know exactly how ranked choice voting works is that you can rank your choices and in the case of the two elections that we were doing ranked choice voting for which was the second congressional district Democratic primary and the Democratic primary for governor which is that was a 7 way 7 way race so how we got to Election Day which is June 12th this took quite a bit of time and I could say I'm gonna go through this fairly quickly what we had to deal with this past year was a people's veto question which started back in November 26 Dean was a citizen initiative that was approved by the voters to initiate rank-choice voting and then the Senate the state Senate asks the Maine Supreme Judicial Court for to declare a solemn occasion and issue an advisory opinion which they did saying that parts of the rank-choice voting law if challenged would probably be found unconstitutional this goes back to the the constitutional construct that says that our elections are conducted by plurality which goes back to a near insurrection that we had in the election of 1879 that involved a three-way race for governor which was fine we we used to determine the winner in a race like that if nobody got fifty percent plus one that the legislature would make the determination and there was problems with legislative races and militias marched on the capital and it was a bit of a mess and when it was all sorted out they did see the governor but the legislature offered up an amendment of the Constitution that basically said whoever gets the most votes wins and so rank-choice voting goes in a different direction than that so based on the plurality provisions of the Constitution the court issued a warning about that so that kind of left the legislature in a bit of a scrum and they couldn't really find agreement so you several months go by there's a number of bills that were introduced the only thing they could find agreement on was to pass a bill that actually did some fixes there were some gaps in the rank-choice voting statute including we didn't have rulemaking authority things like that so they fixed all that but they also delayed implementation until December to actually 2022 and if the Constitution was not amended by December 2021 then it would sunset so that led to the advocates mounting of people's veto campaign and one of the carve-outs in the legislation was they took the legislative and governors races out of the general election component of rank-choice voting which left it really only for primaries in federal elections which are not described in Maine's Constitution so the people's veto went to work and these poor people were out there when it was average temperature in late December early January was about six zero we had a lot of snow and they're out there gathering signatures they had to gather sixty one thousand one hundred and twenty three signatures and get them to us by the beginning of February which they did then and we certified that and then we noticed that there was a conflict in the law that said that for primaries primaries are always decided by plurality so we were already under litigation so we invited the folks that were suing us to sue us yet again and get a preliminary injunction to say that we would actually would use rank-choice voting for the primary regardless of that conflict in the law so the law court did find that we would have to use rank-choice voting for the June primary which gave us our first real bit of clarity on this whole thing so you know so we had about a hundred days to do this and which kind of in with the legislature unable to find agreement they also couldn't agree on funding so he had no additional funding to do this the governor was very hostile to rank-choice voting so he wouldn't let us use state police to gather ballasts let me get into that in a minute but these are the races that you could have been subjected for rank-choice voting this is what we were presenting to the public where the Republican and Democratic primaries now in the Republican primary for governor you know the leading candidate got 57% of the vote so we weren't going to rank those choices so we were only going to finally actually use rank choice voting for those two races I described in the end so and there was a legislative race it was a three-way race for Republican primary the winner of that got over 50% as well so we didn't need that for that so we had to create emergency rules on the conduct of rank-choice voting with what many money we had in our election administration account we were able to rent a high-speed tabulator from election systems and software this is similar to the tabulating system that we currently use the des 200 platform and the difference is this one scans about 300 ballots of minutes so and then we had to pay for the computation algorithm that ESN has put together for us we had a ballot design and when we put our sample ballast out in early May to my great relief we got very intelligent and thoughtful questions about it we've told us that we were not confusing people we have 503 municipalities in Maine and the only way to right make rank-choice voting really work is to do one cascade so we had to gather all the materials and bring them to a central location in Augusta and then we had to get some funding for it which we ultimately were not able to do so we had to train our clerks and the state police were not available to us because of cost and the fact that the governor was hostile to rank-choice voting when gave an indication they was not going to allow state police to gather ballots one of our one of our property management folks suggested maybe we put out a bid to some couriers some bonded couriers and they actually came in at about a quarter of the cost and and so there are two real critical partners in this process was general courier out of Biddeford and election systems and software who did just incredible work helping us pull this together so and then we didn't again we didn't have any money to do public education but we did we were able to put it together this PowerPoint and I have a car so we drove around the state and gave this presentation so we went to four places around the state there I am presenting actually in Biddeford at the public library there in the basement every place we went the house is packed people were very engaged and very interested in this and one of things we had to emphasize to people that we you know we were not debating the merits of ranked choice voting we're trying to tell people how it worked so try to minimize you know the shouting matches that would come along so we we also put together an animated cartoon Kristen muskie who does our communications work is pretty darn clever and she found a license for this software a few years ago we don't use it very often but it's pretty popular and if you see the the picture of me here versus there you can understand why I got a lot of crap about how much hair I have in the cartoon so we put out sample ballots we had the the cartoon actually explains how it actually works how the tabulation works and emphasizing that it's different in every states that you know we have the 503 towns we use paper ballots we have a fairly small staff and elections we had a lot of help in the tabulation from folks because I also have Motor Vehicles under me and the archives and everybody sent volunteers to help us with the tabulation so we had to wait till we got everything in one place and then we had election day you know the National Press was hovering around I think they're kind of hoping for a Hindenburg disaster so they were disappointed in the way it went because it was actually very smooth voters we had very few complications for voters voters seem to understand the ballot and the turnout was much higher than we originally anticipated so the way this works is that the towns would do what they always do they counted the first round so they would count all the first-place ballots which on Election Day gave us an idea of where everything stood so somebody got more than 50% of the vote we wouldn't have to use the rank choice system so we waited we gave everybody a day to get those initial counts done and then is clear that we were probably going to be using the process for the Democratic primary for governor in the second CD so on Thursday general courier went to work picking up ballots from all over the state and mains the size of the rest of New England combined so to give you an idea how big it is it actually from Augusta takes less time to drive to New York City than it does to drive to northern Maine so it's a pretty big state they had everything to us pretty much by Monday afternoon because again we didn't have any money so we couldn't pay overtime to work through the weekend so that's the tabulation center there we got by the by the close of business on Thursday I think we had about 309 towns in hand we got most of the rest on Friday and we had a few stragglers that came in on Monday so as they started coming in we started feeding stuff in now what you see here is the center and those those computer screens are all linked to one surf server they're hardwired there's no internet used here and from there we would download the memory devices from about 263 towns that used tabulating machines and then behind under the cover in the back is the high-speed tabular that we'd feed the hand the hand count town's the actual physical ballots so we had no overtime we had to break take a break over the weekend and we continued on Monday there we are going away and you can see all the attorneys sitting right on the other side of the of the chain we did have a couple hiccups one town sent their referendum ballots not their candidate ballots we had a couple couple little hiccups like that one town sent their town ballots not their state ballots so we were able because we have motor motor vehicle detectives who were able to do the retrievals for us and so this is the bulk of the staff that worked on this we decided in the last minute to do a Facebook live event doing the tabulation the tabulation went pretty smoothly we had one hiccup with the way we were hand entering information we had some towns that were starting to run out of ballots on election night so they photocopied ballots so we had to create a record and enter that by hand so there's my deputy Julie Flynn and I actually sorting out some of the last ballots so the excel file turned out if you capitalized the the names of towns where you were doing the hand records the initial algorithm recognized that as names of candidates and it got confused and it wouldn't read it so there was 920 ballots that we had to put aside to fix which we did fix and got them entered into the final tabulation but it amounted about one-half of one percent of the entire tabulation over 132 thousand people vote in the Democratic primary in Maine so it was pretty strong turnout for that so as we were getting ready to actually run the tabulation the is just me and the and the technician with a lptop and all the TV cameras we couldn't get that last file to load and I leaned over to him I said just smile and make it look like this is how it's supposed to go so but we did figure that part out and it took about 28 minutes to run the tabulation for governor and about 14 minutes to run the tabulation for the second CD and so we did it in live right then and then on the 27th we did the cast vote records release in that way there's a lot a lot of demands to see how each ballot was voted and how many people actually ranked their choices how many people voted for one so there was also a people's veto question which appeared on the ballot the people's veto was sustained so we will be using it for the congressional federal races in November and I'll answer questions about that that's a little bit confusing we originally estimated the The Full Monty for this to be about a million and a half dollars we did not get that from the legislature so we were able to use 80,000 dollars out of our out of our election administration budget so we did not hire any temporary staff so this is actually this is actually an old slide that we were drafting but we will get to the actual cost here in just a second one of the things that we had to bear in mind is that this had never been done before and we were very careful about not putting out deadlines if by Tuesday we'll have this done because we didn't know and so what we did do is we told everybody everything we were doing at every step of the process we tried to be as transparent as possible you know so when we had some things that came in late we told people things came in late and we provided the data that we had as soon as we had it so he is a pretty well organized process we had a very efficient team you know obviously the weather was good we didn't have any problems with couriers getting stuff to us and some of the lessons that we learned you know obviously we want to have more staff we want to have now that we've done it once we want to have even better training for our clerks there's Chantelle loading some ballots into the into the center this is at the old Augusta mental health complex which has now been closed and converted over for other office space so that's pretty much what we did that's rank choice voting in a nutshell we're also gonna I think what Kristen is getting me right now is some actual results that we can show you the spreadsheets as to how that actually came out and and basically boil down to the second congressional district race which there were three candidates there was one candidate who had dropped out but some towns tabulated his votes by accident which caused some confusion those were should been tabulated as blanks but Jared golden wound up coming out with over 50% in the second round and in the fourth round of the Democratic primary for governor Janet Mills wound up with about 54 percent of the vote so Janet Mills our Attorney General won the nomination so that was that was how it turned out I think she's gonna send me those graphics here in just a minute so so hang on just a second folks would you like us to play the video in the meantime yeah why don't you go ahead and play the video okay Chris if you can cue that up I'll switch it over to you hold up right now the state of Maine will be using the ranked choice method of voting for the primary election on June 12th 2018 only four races have more than two candidates and will be determined by ranked choice voting the Democratic nomination for the office of governor the Republican nomination for the office of governor the Democratic nomination for the representative to Congress in congressional district 2 and the Republican nomination for representative to the Maine Legislature in House District 75 rank-choice voting allows voters to choose candidates in order of preference the votes are tabulated in rounds until only two candidates remain and one candidate is determined to have received the majority of the votes in the final round that candidate is then declared the winner here's how the tabulation works let's assume there are four candidates for governor let's say that blue is your first choice the person you would most like to see win that elected office yellow is your second choice and if either of them can win you'd rather see purple in that office before orange so you ranked purple third in orange fourth you are not required to choose more than one candidate if you do not want to participate in ranking your first choice candidate for that office will be counted on election night if no candidate receives a majority the voting will move into rank choice voting rounds all of the ballots and tabulator memory devices will be transported by courier to a secure location in Augusta for counting let's take a look at how all those folks will be tabulated on election night none of our candidates got a majority of the votes so we moved into round one of the rank choice process orange received the fewest votes so it will be eliminated from the race but the people who voted for orange as their first choice heteros make this their second choice candidate will be revealed and their vote will go to that candidate in our example three of the people who voted for orange chose blue as their second choice so blue receives three more votes in round one bringing its total to 11 the other two people who voted for orange chose purple as their second choice so purple receives two more votes in round one bringing its total to nine yellows votes are also moved into this round the round one totals are blue eleven yellow ten purple nine now we're on to round two purple is eliminated but purple voters still have a voice in round two those seven people who voted for purple as their first choice will have their second choice revealed of those seven voters four voted for orange and three voted for blue orange is no longer in the race so those ballots are exhausted and are removed from the count since these voters did not rank any other candidates the three votes for blue are added to the total four blue bringing blues total to 14 now we look at those two votes that purple received when orange was eliminated these voters chose orange first in purple second now we look at their third choice these two voters chose yellow as their third choice so their votes go to yellow yellow now has 12 votes and blue has 14 thus in round three the votes for blue and yellow move forward with only two candidates remaining blue has the majority blue is named the winner of the election here are a few things to keep in mind when you're marking your ranked choice ballot if you vote for more than one candidate in the single ranking your vote won't count since we won't be able to tell which candidate you really want if you decide to skip a ranking your choice will be bumped up to the previous ranking in this example the skipped ranking will be ignored and spider-man will be counted as your second choice if you decide to skip to or more rankings though will only count the votes before the double skipped rankings if you only want to vote for one candidate you can do so if you choose the same candidate in multiple rankings only your first choice vote will be counted and will carry forward into subsequent rounds so this is the same as a single first-choice vote determining the winner of each election will take a while given the size of the great state of Maine but will report the unofficial results as soon as they are ready so you'll know who has been chosen for each elected office if you have any questions about ranked choice voting please visit our upcoming elections web page for a variety of informational resources or give us a call at six to six eight four zero zero eight we'll switch it back over to you thank you very much cell phone there at the end right no is not mine yeah so here we have right here you have this is the this is the web page that we put up for people to to to search for those types of resources I also actually have now the the slides that make sure I have the right one here that is probably not the right one there we go so these are the actual results so these are the results of the second congressional district race that I was describing but now you can actually see them for yourself and what this describes to you is you know this is how it worked out in the in the first round and the blue is the leading vote-getter of the round so Jared golden had forty six point four percent of the vote and when we eliminated the last two candidates we transferred this number of votes and redistributed them until mr. golden represent of golden wand up winning that particular primary likewise with the gubernatorial primary this one a little bit further has went into four rounds we had a seven-way primary and this here in the first round you see the effects of what was written into the law what we call batch eliminate if somebody is mathematically unable to proceed than they are eliminated in a block so in this case it was Donna died on mark died on were both eliminated leaving bringing it down and Dianne Russell we're both all three were eliminated which brought it down to four candidates and then in the second round I believe it was Mark eves was eliminated he was a former Speaker of the House and then the third round Betsy sweet was eliminated which took it to Adam Cody here and Janet Mills and the Janet Mills wanted prevailing in the last round the one of the important points of this is that the majority is determined by who gets the majority of votes in of the remaining votes as you saw in the animation if people don't rank all their choices and their candidates don't perceive than their ballots are exhausted so not it's not a hundred it's not a majority of the votes that are initially cast it's a it's a majority of the votes that are left over in the last round so that's pretty important to talk about also we actually do in here have the costs so this is what it actually cost us it was about seventy one thousand three hundred fifty five dollars for hardware and software we had to lease a high-speed tabulator and pay for the software the courier came in and just under thirty one thousand dollars and that was to retrieve ballots and send them back to the towns and then of course we ate a lot of pizza so four hundred twenty three dollars for food and that was the total cost of the of the rank-choice voting sensation so that was that was what we that's how we did it and it worked very very smoothly the courier was a tremendous partner es NS had technicians with us every step of the way and so there you have it so I think let me see if make sure I haven't missed anything here yeah the lessons for November and this is what we again and doing some now that we know how the software really works we have some ideas about how to make it work a little bit faster processing now that we've done it we know what training to to get two clerks what to look for and and get our staff working on this part earlier on so that you know we can make it move a little bit faster and if we can get the revenue and we're going to have a long conversation with the legislature about this because now that we've done it I think people kind of like it so it's probably not going to go away so the you know there's been a lot to say a lot of disagreement the legislature and so we'll have to talk about better funding for this better location and better technology which is available to us and getting more technology to make it move quickly as it was if you factor in if you take out the weekend we got it all done and about just under five days which is pretty good so but we think we can do a little bit more quickly than that because when we first started talking about this we weren't sure if it was going to take weeks or even months if we had to do it all by hand so the technology has really been a godsend for us to allow us to do this and we always have the paper ballots because in the midst of all this we also had to write recount rules thankfully there is no recounts and the attorney general's office was actually handing out the rules for recounts just before we ran the tabulation so that's how close we we cut everything so that's what I have for the for that presentation that is we greatly appreciate your presentation secretary Dunlap I'm going to switch over and show a couple of slides so that I can direct folks through our question-and-answer session and let you get a drink of water if you need for just a moment and then we'll go into the Q&A session so let me switch back to my screen and all right so we certainly do thank you for that insightful presentation and today's webinar has been recorded we will hold a brief question and answer session as I mentioned in just a moment and the recording and supplemental Q&A document will be added to our webinar series archives on our website be sure to follow us on Facebook Twitter Linkedin and YouTube you can also check out our podcast our CV clips which is available through iTunes Google Play and SoundCloud our most recent episode was an interview with Kathy Monta Oh city clerk and Registrar of Voters for Lewiston Maine and gives it she gave us a perspective of what clerks did at the local level to prepare and educate voters about Maine's RCD primaries so now you've if you tuned in for the podcast and you've tuned in today you've gotten both the state level and a local level perspective so with that I'm gonna move into the question and answer segment and unmute the secretary I think he may have self muted so secretary Dunlap you'll need to unmute there we go here we go you're unmuted so great so you talked about some of the things that you you realize you want to do for November what what steps do you think went really well that you want to make sure you implement again well the transparency piece letting people know what we're doing because this was brand new and typically when we make sweeping changes to election law it's taking out a comma and putting in a semicolon so this was a big change and again I mean voters are pretty smart we always like to remind ourselves of that and we had used rank-choice voting in Maine for the election for mayor so we had a little bit of a model to work from chris has just one municipality as opposed to 503 one of the things that we're gonna bear in mind here is that the weather can be a little bit unpredictable in Maine in early November we've had blizzards we've had last year we had a catastrophic hurricane force wind storm that took out power for much of the state for several days so we want to build that into our planning especially this we're gonna have couriers going all over the state and what could be unfriendly conditions so this was a great dry run for us that way but also I think you know just understanding you know the now that we've this thing has been litigated to death and I think that that's actually a help for us that you know so much of its already been litigated and so we probably would anticipate less litigation into the future that we could delay a result or something like that so certainly we want to dedicate a little bit more resources to this and that's where that long term conversation with the legislature is going to come in you know getting more tabulating machines for towns it is it's quite a thing to bring a towns ballot boxes all the way to the capital from far northern or far northern Maine or even out in the outer islands and bring them in on ferries and even on helicopters that can be pretty dodgy in the November month so we're thinking pretty hard about all this right I'd certainly for our team several of us are from North Carolina when we had a very short window of time and few resources as well so you were we were having flashbacks I think as we watched everything unfold for you and and it's nice to hear some of the modernization that you want to put in place for elections that would you say are also good practices for elections in general not just for rank-choice voting I would say so I mean this is when we really were faced you know we're in the corner on this and we had about a hundred days to do all this we realized that we were working with already pretty good material we already have a pretty strong ody of election law that's been very carefully thought-out by the legislation legislature often doesn't get the credit it deserves for writing really strong election laws we I think we have some of the best election laws in the country they're very geared towards access for the voter and security and transparency and we have really incredible town clerks who are very very devoted you mentioned Kathy Monta oh she's one of the best but you know we have clerks from all over the state of Maine they they their offices are the nerve center of their communities so working from that there you know we were in what we called the Apollo 13 scenario with no funding from the legislature and very little to work with we already had a pretty strong recipe for success especially with the partners we had in general courier in ES and s they've been a great vendor they've been great vendors for us they've provided us this would not have been possible ten years ago let's be honest about that being able to come up with an algorithm that can actually read an entire ballot and sort out the rankings from over a hundred and thirty-two ballots and do it in less than half an hour is is quite an achievement and so that's a great tool for us and I think most importantly the voters seem to have trusted this process we had no lawsuits after the election we had no recounts and people seemed to feel that it went pretty securely which we felt pretty good about certainly can identify with what you're talking about even ten years ago because we didn't have a built-in algorithm algorithm and we had to write it ourselves which is part of how it spurred us to do the rank-choice voting Resource Center and to work on the universal RCB tabulator which we've in turn worked with ES and s and the and the vendors as a whole so we certainly know that yes and s was doing their homework to be ready for your election can you talk a little bit about how your es and s was was this part of your existing system or were there additional charges for free SNS to provide you with the algorithm how did that work well those charges that I put up on the screen the eighty thousand dollars that was mostly additional charges and you know that that came in the form of the lease for the high-speed tabulator they're an existing vendor they now back years ago when we started using tabulating machines there are a bunch of different vendors and the state authorized towns to purchase their own tabulating machines from four different suppliers well that created a challenge because towns picked all four different vendors so we have because we print all the ballots you know we are printing literally thousands of different ballot styles for different precincts using different machines with different you know size paper for those ballots so as we were you know spending our help America Vote Act money one of the things that we did because a lot of those tabulators were older technology some of it was no longer supported we made the decision to go to a uniform lease and we put out an RFP and did a bid bid process ESN s won that bid and so now every city uses the DSA every city that has a tabulating machine we have a lot of small towns with fewer than a thousand people that don't have tabulators so 503 organized towns 263 of those towns have machines they all use the same platform which is really critical here so the additional technology really was isolated to the high-speed tabulator to read those you know the des 200 is a great machine it scans the entire ballot it does not look for bubbles but you know the voter will insert their ballot into the into the slot the des 200 sucks it out of their hand the little clock goes around about this fast and then says thank you for voting the des 850 that we least like I say it's like feeding them into a hopper and they were reading the same ballots in the same way 300 a minute but much more expensive technology so you know yes SNS was an existing vendor they're a known partner and they you know they wrote the algorithm for us and they brought us that the DES 850 and also additional staff to help support all this so you know that was that was part of the additional cost and I know what you mean by the advanced technology of the D s 850 if folks on the webinar haven't heard it sounds like a jet engine taking off when it revs up which is pretty neat we've got many questions and for everyone's knowledge I'm trying to cover as many as possible but again if we need to we'll follow up in a follow-up document one that's been asked on more than one attendee is if you could talk a little bit about the process for amending the state constitution if there were if our CV was to you know could be used for general elections for state offices how would this be done what like what has to happen well you can't amend the Constitution by citizen initiative and actually when the citizen initiative constitutional amendment was written in the early 1900's the legislature in Maine was a little bit concerned about preserving the institution of prohibition and they were afraid that someone would amend a prohibition out of the Constitution so you they wrote that part out of the citizen initiative process so you cannot amend the Constitution by citizen initiative it has to come from the legislature so the Legislature would have to approve of resolution to amend the Constitution it has to be 2/3 of all acted members and house in the Senate be sent on to the voters in the next general election and then it would just be a simple majority that would have to ratify that resolution and then that would take effect 30 days after that so it's not manat an overwhelmingly difficult process we've done it about 200 times in Maine but there are some hurdles and the first one is you've got to get 2/3 out of the legislature and there was a constitutional amendment that was offered up because one party really did not like rank-choice voting and the other party was kind of divided on it they were never the votes to do a constitutional resolution prior to this election likewise there was just enough support for rank-choice voting that there were never the votes to actually repeal it and that's where that compromise came in to delay implementation until 2021 2022 and then if it was not in emboldened by a constitutional amendment by December 2021 the idea was to have it's sunset and that's where the people's veto referendum came into play so as a lot of moving parts to the history of this for sure right and certainly you know what you're discussing or the laws for Maine and we've got folks from all over the country but we did get a question from someone who wanted understanding and I think this is something else that would vary from state to state but he was asking if you could give an understanding of all this happened in order for RCB to be used at the state level were the same restrictions in place or what was the process that Portland Maine was able to use it as the municipality prior to the state use well we don't have any jurisdiction over municipal elections at all under the sovereignty clauses the towns run their own elections so they print their own ballots they can use our equipment so they are able to do that because it didn't require approval under state law so it's up to towns to run their elections however they wish so that's how Portland was able to do it okay and that's certainly one of those things that varies from state to state since we are talking about the one of the municipalities talk can you share with us some of the efforts that you know the local localities to have done in terms of educating voters and what the efforts were to educate the poll workers even well and we do a statewide training of all registrar's and city clerk's every year we usually have some central location where we do it and that and the towns were actually quite robust in reaching out to people there are a number and the Committee on rank choice voting which was the original proponent of rank choice voting they did a lot of outreach of their own so you know where our resources were fairly limited these other efforts and I you know went to a number of retirement communities and schools and I gave that same talk we did our own in four different locations but I also went to other places around the state at the invitation of a number of legislators and town clerk's and gave that same presentation so there was an effort to get the word out as best as we could but again the initial reaction to the sample ballots was quite strong that people you know they I could say they asked good questions which told us that people got it and they weren't going to be confused by that process there are far more confused by the people's veto referendum process and they were by the actual process of using rank-choice voting so I guess heading into November you'll be doing some of the similar training for voters will you be doing other things for the clerk's and the poll workers will also probably be working with we've already done our training for the clerk's and the poll workers but we're probably doing more media outreach now that we know that we're gonna be doing remember we didn't know we were going to be doing this right really until May and when the last lawsuits were finally settled and there are a number of lawsuits to enjoin us from doing it to make us do it it was I started to don't understand how it how a teacher and a school board meeting feels like everybody knows their job better than they do so and it was very similar to us is that you know once we finally got the last green light we didn't have much time so now we have the time to actually do that outreach and work with the media outlets to get some of this information out great can you talk a little bit about the release of results I've had a couple of questions about that as well and how how those results were shared as the rounds to well what we did is you know we we didn't do it round by round what we did we just announced the final result we didn't think it would be an awful lot of fun for the candidates to have five or ten minutes you know between announcement of rounds even though we had the information in our hands we just announced the final result but what we did do is we printed it out we printed out those same spreadsheets that I showed you and we made sure they were widely available we put them online right away so that people could see exactly you know where votes had transferred where ballots have been exhausted you know how many people didn't you know there was a number of a significant number in the first round of what they call what you'd call blank votes but those were not necessarily blank it may have been that somebody didn't like any of the candidates and they wrote in Daffy Duck I saw some of those ballots or they wrote in a candidate that wasn't actually running for governor so you know a relatively small number of ballots but statistically insignificant number but nonetheless it was a phenomenon that we had to kind of account for but that's how we we just announced it at the end when it was all done so okay did you you touched on some of the writings and things that you saw did you see anything unique to rank-choice voting or was it similar in terms of the over votes or under votes or general participation on in voting it was pretty similar to how it usually how usually proceeds I mean we the the over votes were less of an issue than we we feared I mean it kind of followed the same numbers that we see in a general election under the plurality system where if somebody voted for all seven candidates as their first choice obviously you can't count that because you don't know what their intent is but if somebody voted for one candidate seven times that would count but an only count for the first round it wouldn't you wouldn't count their subsequent choices as separate votes so you know and we try to explain this to people so there to alleviate some of that confusion but like I say the number one question we got at every forum was do I have to rank my choices or can I vote for just one candidate and we got that question often enough that we wondered if it would not be a significant number of people that would not rank their choices and it really was not that significant it wound up being about 20 percent did not rank they just you know voted for one candidate we thought it could be as high as 40 or even 50 percent so you know to that degree people ranked at least two or three candidates if they didn't rank them all so but what I heard from folks is that they really liked it they liked being able to have choices and so I think going forward you'll see you'll see this developed a little bit more and I think the Legislature will probably put some more backing behind it I have if you have time I have a have two more questions your at this point okay great one is do the parties have the option to use ranked choice voting in the primaries is it an optional or is it just a circumstance that it was just the Democrat Party no this is actually part of the litigation the Republican Party in Maine sued in federal court under the First Amendment freedom of association they didn't want to use rank-choice voting however the primaries are on pursuant to state election law and rank-choice voting is now part of state election laws so they couldn't just pick and choose how they ran their primaries if they wanted to get out of the primary business altogether they could get an amendment to state law that said they could they could select their candidates by caucus or however but that that lawsuit did not get entertained and so the way it worked out with the Republicans was there can - they're leading candidates all got majorities in the first round so there was no need to rank their choices which made a little bit easier for us and last question that I have I think there's a few others and we'll put those into that document that we mentioned but we did have someone who was asking about the use of the separate ballot cards how has that decision made is that a practice that's been going on in Maine a separate separate ballot cards right you mentioned during a presentation that there were town ballots and then state balance yes yes I'm sorry that's that's historically how we've done it the town's print their own ballots and they run their own they can use our tabulating machines but typically what happens in a town like my town of Old Town they'll have a DES 200 for town ballots and add es 200 for state ballots and the state ballots also have the federal and county races as well so you know it's not uncommon to see them mixed together so that's why we retrieved everything but we were able to separate those ballots out and organize them in such a way that we're just scanning just the state ballots well you have separate ballots in November yes we will we will we'll probably actually have a referendum ballots candidate ballot and then there'll be the town ballots as well well search everyone laughs this has been been great I think we could all stay on all afternoon and talk about this because there is so much that goes into election preparation whether it's for ranked choice or not and I think we often terms ourselves as election geeks but with that I'm gonna just say thank you and do our sign off the we do thank you all for joining us today and especially secretary Dunlap for his presentation stay tuned for announcements about future webinars including a presentation in September on best practices and lessons learned from the three ranked choice voting elections that have been held in Minneapolis Minnesota thank you again for joining us and enjoy the rest of your day
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