Portland declares ranked choice voting a success

6:18 PM, Nov 10, 2011   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Portland's first experiment with ranked choice voting is being called a success, one day after Former State Senator Mike Brennan was declared the winner.

Brennan's win was announced almost exactly 24 hours after the polls closed. But so far, the biggest complaint about this first election using ranked choice voting in Portland has been that vote counting took longer than anyone realized.

In fact, the city clerk's office was still making sure the ballots were counted correctly early Thursday afternoon. The good news is, though, no one seems to be doubting the accuracy of the system or who the winner is.
And it appears that voters understood what they were doing. Fewer than 150 out of the more than 20,000 ballots that were counted were discarded because voters made a mistake. And the city clerk says there was not an unusual number of people asking for new ballots on Election Day because of mess-ups in the voting booth either.
The election was expensive, though, and it took a long time. The city spent $22,000 more on this election to bring the company True Ballot in to run its scanners and count the votes. It took longer than expected to upload the scanned ballots into the computer system, and the city clerk's office wanted to look at a higher number of ballots than usual to make sure the counting was accurate.


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