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  Maine Election Outcome Renews Calls for Reform
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ContributorJason 
Last EditedJason  Nov 06, 2010 01:46am
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News DateThursday, November 4, 2010 07:45:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThis past June, Maine voters had their choice of seven gubernatorial candidates in the Republican primary and five in the Democratic primary. By the time the general election came along, there were three unenrolled candidates vying for the Blaine House along with a Democrat, a Republican--and even a handful of write-ins.

As a result, the winner of the contest, Republican Paul LePage, needed only a little more than a third of the overall vote to become the next governor. It's been this way for the past several election cycles in Maine. And Eliot Cutler says it may be time for a change.

"This should cause us to think about a runoff in the state of Maine, particularly as the strength of political parties continues to decline," he says. "I think we need to do a lot of thinking about the political process in the state of Maine, about the way it's structured; about the kinds of changes and reforms we need to make and I intend to be part of that discussion."

Runoff voting is an umbrella term that refers to a voting system in which only two candidates emerge from a first round election to the second round or instant runoff voting where voters rank all the candidates in order of preference. For example, in several states, including Louisiana, if there are five candidates in a race and no candidate gets a majority of 50 percent plus one, there's a runoff election between the top two finishers.
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