To the Editor:
Recently, the Maine Senate asked the Maine Supreme Court to answer questions about the constitutionality of the ranked-choice voting referendum passed by voters last November.
The process is officially called “asking for a solemn occasion,” but it’s basically the Senate saying, “Hey, we think this is a really big deal. Can you look at this and let us know if Maine’s constitution allows it and what we can and cannot do as we’re putting this into place?”
To be candid, many lawmakers find themselves in a difficult position on this referendum question, especially people like me who enthusiastically voted yes. I believe very strongly that the Legislature ought to respect the will of the voters when they make major decisions.
At the same time, if the result raises new legal questions, you want to get those answered as soon as possible. Otherwise the next election could take place under the cloud of a lawsuit. And people have already made it clear they intend to file one.
The many communities of Maine have always done an impeccable job running local elections, as has the staff of the secretary of state’s office. Given that, it would be very bad if we found ourselves in a situation where there were questions about the legitimacy of the result because the very voting mechanism used was still tied up in court.
I look forward to getting this question resolved and to seeing this significant improvement to the way we vote come into effect. You can always contact me about this or any other state government issue at 479-5459 and at [email protected].
Rep. Walter Kumiega
District 134, Southwest Harbor, Tremont, Swans Island, Frenchboro and Cranberry Isles