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Ranked-choice voting? Here's how it works.

Maine close to dropping ranked-choice presidential vote this fall

Republicans believe they have gathered sufficient support from Mainers to stop the nation's first use of ranked-choice voting for president this fall.

Maine is the only state in the country that uses the alternative election system for all its elections, but since that decision was made four years ago the process has faced a succession of lawsuits and legislative drives to limit its reach or abandon it outright.

The nationwide debut of so-called RCV in a presidential election had been set for the next awarding of Maine's four electoral votes. But on Monday the state GOP submitted 72,000 signatures, about 4,000 more than required, on a petition mandating something else: a referendum in November on whether to use ranked voting in future presidential contests, which would mean it would not get used this time.

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Maine primary

Maine holds its state primary (postponed from June 9).

Congress

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is one of 10 Republican Senators targeted in a series of ads from a conservative group supporting efforts to ease voting in November.

Conservative group's new TV ads press 10 key GOP senators to pay for vote-by-mail

The most prominent conservative group pushing to overhaul election procedures during the coronavirus pandemic has expanded and refocused its campaign.

The targets of a new, $750,000 advertising blitz are 10 GOP senators. The group controls the fate of a proposed infusion of cash to pay for diversified voting options this year, mainly by accommodating an expected surge of absentee balloting.

Republicans for the Rule of Law has purchased three weeks of airtime on Fox News affiliates in their states and on Facebook, starting Wednesday, urging them by name to support funding in the next economic stimulus package.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

Four of the GOP senators in states that were surveyed posed with their class at the Capitol soon after the 2012 election: Cory Gardner (blue tie), Joni Ernst (red jacket,) Thom Tillis (second from right) and Steve Daines (right).

Voters in Senate battlegrounds back early voting, adding pressure on GOP

Bipartisan majorities want more options for voting this year, and will be angry at members of Congress who oppose expanded absentee and early balloting in all six states where Republican senators are struggling hardest for re-election.

That was the top take-away of a survey released Thursday, the latest piece of an expanding campaign by good-government groups to pressure Congress to finance preparations for a vote-by-mail surge this fall because of the coronavirus.

House Democrats next week are expected to pass another pandemic response package, focused on aid to cities and states, with $4 billion in grants for making the election smoother and safer: more ballots, postage, counting equipment and even sanitizing supplies for polling places. The fate of the aid rests with the Senate, where resistance from majority Republicans has hardened in part because of President Trump's opposition.

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