Amy Fried & Robert W. Glover

Amy Fried is a political scientist at the University of Maine. Author of Pathways to Polling and Muffled Echoes, she is writing a book on American conservatives’ strategic promotion of distrust in government.

Robert W. Glover is a political scientist at the University of Maine who studies democratic engagement, political theory, and the politics of immigration. 

Recent Articles

Maine’s Ranked-Choice Voting Experiment Continues

Maine’s innovative method of ranking candidates sparked controversy when the counting began in one congressional race. But RCV could change the way Americans vote.

On Election Day, Maine voters used an innovative voting method called ranked-choice voting (RCV) to choose the federal candidates on their ballots. After a court challenge and heated public rhetoric, RCV determined the outcome in one congressional race outcome for the first time in U.S. history. But it still faces significant opposition and limited use in the Pine Tree State. Maine became the first state to deploy RCV in its primaries back in June. While groundbreaking, RCV has been limited by state constitutional language stipulating that state legislative and gubernatorial general races must be decided by a plurality of voters. So, RCV was used only in the federal elections this time around. In Maine, that meant one U.S. Senate contest and two House races. Two of the three races were settled on election night, with Representative Chellie Pingree, a Democrat and Senator Angus King, an Independent, winning majorities. But in Maine’s largely rural, working class Second...

As Maine Goes ... So Goes the Way Americans Vote?

Maine's experiment with ranked-choice voting provides a crucial test case for states and localities seeking to transform their electoral processes to better reflect the will of the people.

Is Maine going to change the way Americans vote? Last Tuesday, voters in Maine primaries picked candidates using ranked-choice voting (RCV) in which they were able to rank candidates rather than vote for just one of the candidates. Voters also weighed in on a referendum related to RCV for the second time in two years. This was after a Maine Supreme Judicial Court advisory opinion deemed some parts of the prior referendum unconstitutional, and the Maine State Legislature voted to delay and potentially repeal RCV. In the end, voters supported RCV and struck down the legislation, although a constitutional amendment would still be necessary for ranked choice to be used according to the 2016 referendum’s design. Over a dozen American cities currently use RCV, also known as “instant-runoff voting,” but Maine is the first state to adopt this system. We saw the system in action as we followed developments closely and voted and can offer a very preliminary assessment of...