Authority of Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has the
sole authority to determine the design of ballots containing ranked-choice
voting contests, including whether to place ranked-choice contests and
non-ranked-choice contests on the same or separate ballot pages. This
determination will be made after the candidate filing deadline has passed, when
the number of contests subject to ranked-choice voting and the number of
candidates who have qualified for those contests is known. Ranked-choice
contests will be grouped together and presented either on a separate ballot
page from the non-ranked-choice contests, or on one side of a combined
ranked-choice and non-ranked-choice ballot page. Ballot heading information and
specific instructions will be presented above or next to the first contest of
each type (i.e., ranked-choice contest, non-ranked-choice contest or referendum
contest). Each ballot page or grouping of contests will adhere to the ballot
order and layout requirements, as near as practicable, of 21-A M.R.S.A.
§601, §604-A, §723-A. The final design will be based on the
space and design limitations of the ballot design software, while following the
best practices for ballot design to the greatest extent possible.
Ranked-choice layout. The
ballot will be designed in a manner that allows voters to rank as many
candidates as they wish, up to and including all listed candidates and one
declared write-in candidate, in order of choice. If there is no declared
write-in candidate who has qualified in accordance with 21-A M.R.S.A.
§722-A for a ranked-choice voting contest, then the Secretary of State may
eliminate the write-in space for the contest so that the voter will have the
ability to rank only the candidates listed on the ballot.