PORTLAND (WGME) -- People in Maine are pushing to change the current voting system. On Saturday, activists and volunteers across the state took part in a Weekend of Action in order to get people to sign a petition.
The group behind the effort is called The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting. Every stroke of a pen makes the idea of ranked choice voting closer to becoming reality.
Kyle Bailey is a Committee for Ranked Choice Voting Campaign Manager. He said, “We're looking at adopting it here in Maine because we think it's about a good government reform."
Supporters believe it's a better way to put people in office.
Dave Coolidge is registered to vote in Portland. He said, “It does let the outcome not be a plurality, but a majority."
"I think everybody should go out there and sign this petition," said Sue Andersen, registered Portland voter.
The idea would prevent a candidate who receives less than 50% of the vote from winning. Candidates have won races in Maine with less than a majority of the votes in the past.
"With most of the governors in the last 40 years very few times has somebody gotten over a majority of the vote because it's very common for us to have three or more candidates running," said Kyle Bailey.
The system is only used if more than two people are running against each other. For example, if three people are running voters rank them in order of preference. If no one gets a majority at first the person with the lowest total is eliminated. Then people who voted for that candidate have their second choice counted and those votes are distributed between the top two candidates.
"I don't think it's a flawless system, but I think it's better," said Coolidge.
Activists have collected 55,000 signatures since last October. They need 6,000 more to submit the petition.
"We have Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Greens, across the state collecting signatures," said Bailey.
If 61,000 valid registered voter signatures are collected people could vote for it as early as the 2015 election. If the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting wants the initiative on the 2015 ballot it has to submit enough valid signatures to the Secretary of State's office by January 22.
Portland used Ranked Choice Voting during its mayoral election in 2011.