Ranked-Choice Voting Explained: Maine voters will use ranked-choice voting for the Presidential, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives elections.
Maine absentee ballots must be returned to your municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day, November 3. The State of Maine recommends sending in absentee ballots before October 30 to ensure they will arrive at the municipal government building on time.
On the Maine Presidential ballot, five individuals are running. Per Maine state law, when more than two candidates are running, voters are able to rank their choices for the position. The Presidential candidates are Democratic nominee and Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., Alliance Party nominee Roque De La Fuente, Green Party nominee Howard Hawkins, Libertarian nominee Jo Jorgenson and Republican nominee Donald J. Trump. Last night, Biden and Trump sparred at the final presidential debate, where they discussed the federal response to COVID-19, the economy and more.
U.S Congressional Elections
Four candidates are running for Maine’s seat in the U.S. Senate, one of the most contentious elections of the year, which may prove pivotal in determining which party controls the Senate. Susan Collins, Republican, is running for reelection and facing an uphill battle due to her controversial vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court in 2018. She is running against three challengers, the most popular of whom is Sara Gideon, Democrat and current Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, who is campaigning for environmental justice and health care reform. Max Linn, Independent, is campaigning on a platform advocating for congressional term limits and a five-year moratorium on all immigration. Lisa Savage, a member of the Maine Green Independent Party, is running on a platform supporting Medicare-for-All, the Green New Deal and an end to all wars.
Voters can rank the candidates of their choice in order of preference. The most preferred candidate should be ranked first, and another candidate can be listed second. If a candidate does not reach a majority in the first round, the candidate with the least amount of votes will be eliminated, and the voters who voted for them in the first round will have their second round votes distributed to the remaining candidates. Voters can, but do not need to, rank all four candidates.
U.S. House of Representatives
Brunswick is located in Maine’s first congressional district, where incumbent Democrat Chellie Pingree is running for reelection against Republican Jay Allen. Pingree has served in the House of Representatives since 2009, and she is focused on providing affordable, high-quality healthcare, a stronger economy for low-income people and support for Maine farmers. Republican Jay Allen, a retired colonel in the U.S. Army, is running on a platform to preserve freedoms of speech and religion, as well as to cut taxes.
State Congressional Elections
Maine State House
Ralph Tucker, a Democrat and retired judge, is running for reelection in District 50, which covers most of the College, against Republican Michael Lawler. Tucker is focused on environmental protection, reducing transmission of COVID-19 and avoiding budget cuts in departments due to revenue loss. While Lawler is promising a 30 percent budget cut across all departments and more transparency and accountability throughout the legislative process, he also disagrees with the way the state has handled COVID-19 and believes that the town has given the governor too much power.
Democrat Poppy Arford is running in District 49, the seat currently held by Representative Mattie Daughtry, against Green Party member Fred Horch. Arford is focusing on an affordable public healthcare option, reproductive justice and racial justice. She wants to develop a robust state-run insurance exchange program, cover funding of Planned Parenthood and establish a racial, indigenous and Maine tribal population commission. Horsch’s main priority is reviving the local economy and allocating more funding towards schools and state government functions.
Maine State Senate
Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, Democrat, and Brad Pattershall, Republican, are vying for a seat in the State Senate to represent District 24, which encompasses all of Brunswick. The seat is currently held by Democrat Everett “Brownie” Carson, who announced last year that he would not seek reelection. Daughtry, who reached her term limit in the Maine State House of Representatives, is running for the State Senate to continue her legislative efforts. Pattershall, an attorney, wants to focus on cutting taxes and building a financially stronger Maine.
Municipal and County Election
In Brunswick’s Town Council election, Kathy Wilson is running unopposed to be an at-large representative, Chris Watkinson is running unopposed to be the District 5 representative and Jim Mason is running unopposed as the District 7 representative. All candidates are incumbents.
For the Brunswick School Board, William Thompson is running unopposed for at-large representative, Lauren Watkinson is running unopposed for District five and Sarah Singer is running unopposed for District 7. Nadeen Daniels is running unopposed for registrar of probate.
Not all candidates will be on every student’s ballot because the College spans four different districts, depending on the address of a student’s on-campus residence.
Municipal Ballot questions
There are three municipal ballot questions to alter language within the Charter of the Town of Brunswick.
Shall the charter of the town of Brunswick be amended to remove no longer necessary language that provided for the initial compensation of the town council and school board and that provided a transition period when the town council and school board terms were changed from two to three years?
This amendment would change language in section 201 (c), 208 (c), 901 and 908. The Orient was not able to find any opposition to this change.
Shall the charter of the town of Brunswick be amended to clarify and modify provisions related to the adoption and administration of the annual budget, and further, to insert current terminology?
The amendment would change language in sections 502, 504, 505, 508, 511 and 213. The Orient was not able to find any opposition to this change.
Shall the charter of the town be amended to add the position of tax collector, delete the requirement that personnel rules be adopted by ordinance, allow voters to sign the nomination petition of more than one candidate for the same office and clean-up the oath of office for all municipal officials?
This amendment would change language in sections 217, 402(d), 1002(c) and 1208. The Orient was unable to find any opposition to this change.