Early voting began this week in Lewiston and, according to the City Clerk’s office, some voters have been a little confused — at least about the inability to rank choices for the governor’s race. 

City Clerk Kathy Montejo said Wednesday some voters have been asking about the inability to rank their choices for governor, especially since they were able to rank choices on the primary ballot in June.

In Maine, only candidates for federal offices, not state offices, can be elected through ranked-choice voting, after it was found to be unconstitutional. During the state primary election, the candidates were not running for the office but for their party’s nomination.

“Many voters have been marking their absentee ballots only to realize they can only vote for one candidate for governor instead of ranking their choices,” she said in an email.

“If a voter is marking their ballot and makes a mistake, they are allowed by law to receive a duplicate replacement ballot. This applies to both absentee ballots and election day ballots cast at the polls.”

She said confusion seems to arise from the double-sided state candidate ballot, where on one side, the U.S. Senate and congressional races use ranked choice, while on the other side, the governor’s race does not. 

City clerks in Portland and in Auburn and Lisbon said Wednesday they have not experienced similar problems. 

Lewiston has issued some 3,200 absentee ballots so far. Portland is up to roughly 6,000. 

Montejo said a number of sample ballots are available for viewing at the city’s website at: www.lewistonmaine.gov/117/Elections.

Voters are encouraged to review and study the ballots in advance of Election Day.

— Andrew Rice 


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