Grab your popcorn, turn on MSNBC, and let’s watch Steve Kornacki map out tonight’s primary returns.
Primaries are being held in Virginia, South Carolina, North Dakota,Nevada, and Maine.
First results are expected:
Virginia: 7:11 p.m. Eastern
South Carolina: 7:30 p.m. Eastern
North Dakota: 8:05 p.m. Eastern
Nevada: 11:24 p.m. Eastern.
Maine – maybe in a week or two.
A week or two? Why is that?
The Bangor Daily News reports:
With seven Democrats and four Republicans running for governor, a first-round majority is unlikely. Clerks will report first-round votes to us on election night as they have in the past, but further rounds of ranked-choice voting will be run centrally by the secretary of state’s office.
The secretary of state has said that this will happen during the week after the election. State-hired private couriers must collect ballot information and bring it to Augusta for ranked-choice tallies. That’s a long period of uncertainty about crucial elections.
Consider this. Massachusetts has 351 cities and towns, and each municipality runs its own election.
Under Ranked Choice Voting, if someone doesn’t get a majority in the first ballot, you eliminate the bottom candidate and redistribute their second choice votes. This could set the stage for a long, statewide nightmare. Let’s set up a hypothetical statewide election with five candidates.
Candidate A gets 350,481 votes
Candidate B gets 225,218 votes
Candidate C gets 223,971 votes
Candidate D gets 151,012 votes
Candidate E gets 150,989 votes
Town clerks and election officials count the first round ballots, but then must wait for the statewide count before they proceed to the next step. Under the rules, Candidate E gets eliminated and the votes are redistributed. However, Candidate E says, “Wait a minute. Your count has me losing by 23 votes. That’s not right. I want a recount.” Whether the law permits a recount or not, the next round of counts is delayed until the state declares a loser and orders the ballots redistributed. Candidates D and E draw from a similar base, so Candidate D gets most of Candidate E’s vote ends up in second place, and now Candidate B and Candidate C gets into an argument about who should be eliminated.
And you thought the hanging chads in Florida were a problem.