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Politics Maine’s governor is threatening not to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary

22:36  12 june  2018
22:36  12 june  2018 Source:

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Maine Governor Paul LePage is no stranger to food-stamp cuts. And in December, the US Department of Agriculture threatened Maine with fines for its failure to adequately process food-stamp applications.

On Tuesday , Maine became the first state ever to expand Medicaid through a ballot initiative, voting to approve the expansion by a margin of nearly 18 percentage points. LePage’ s demand is part of an ongoing effort by the governor to prevent Medicaid expansion in his state.

Paul LePage wearing a suit and tie © Press Herald via Getty Images

He called Maine’s new voting system “the most horrific thing in the world.”

Maine’s Republican Gov. Paul LePage has threatened not to certify the results of Tuesday’s primary elections in Maine, because the state is using an entirely new system of voting.

As Maine voters head to the polls to cast ballots in the nation’s first statewide election using ranked-choice voting (also known as instant-runoff voting), LePage sat down for an interview with the local TV station WCSH-TV, during which he called the new voting system “the most horrific thing in the world.”

“I will probably not certify the election,” LePage said. “I will leave it up to the courts to decide.”

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Maine Gov. Paul LePage attends an opioid abuse conference Tuesday , June 7, 2016, in Boston. Maine Governor Paul LePage is no stranger to food stamp cuts. This month, he wrote the Obama Administration threatening to stop participating in the food stamp program if the Administration didn’t

That’s left Maine’s other state officials scrambling to figure out what to do next, in the middle of election day.

Even if LePage follows through on his threat, there may be other ways to certify the election results. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told the Portland Press Herald that he is consulting with the state attorney general on other ways the votes could be certified, though he did not specify exactly how that could happen.

Maine ranked-voting system used for first time in primary: A look at the process

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When the vacancy occurs more than 90 days preceding the date of the primary election for nominating candidates to be voted for at the biennial election next succeeding, the President of the Senate shall assume the office of Governor until the first Wednesday after the first Tuesday of January following

The Republican governor on Friday refused to sign a proclamation certifying the result of Tuesday ' s special election. Maine law gives the governor five business days to certify the results of an election, she said, and LePage doesn't want to "prematurely" cut off the unsuccessful candidate' s

“It has to be certified, it is whether he does it or I do it, that is what we are trying to figure out right now,” Dunlap told the Press Herald’s Edward Murray and Peter McGuire.

LePage also incorrectly stated that Maine previously had ranked-choice voting in the 1880s but that then-Gov. Joshua Chamberlain got rid of it.

The Portland Press Herald was quick to point out that LePage had his historical facts wrong and was “apparently referring to a disputed election for governor in 1880.”

Maine’s adoption of ranked-choice voting is largely seen as a rebuttal to LePage, who was elected in 2010 with less than 40 percent of the vote and reelected four years later with less than 50 percent. Besides being known for his obscenity-lacedlanguage, the governor has used his power to drag out the implementation of the state’s Medicaid expansion, which passed overwhelmingly via ballot initiative last year.

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