Who is running?
There are third party candidates running as well, but which candidates are on the ballot varies by state. In Maine, you’ll see Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian), Howie Hawkins (Green Party), and Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente (Alliance Party) on the ballot in addition to Biden and Trump.
What is the electoral college and how does it work?
When you vote on Election Day, you’re not just casting a vote for who you think should be president. You’re also voting for the electors that will represent your state in voting for those candidates.
Each political party chooses the electors before the election. Whichever candidate wins that state, that party’s electors will represent the state in the Electoral College.
The number of each state’s electors is based on the number of members it has in the House of Representatives and the Senate, per Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution. Every state has two senators, so the x-factor is how many representatives they have — a number based on its population.
A simple majority of electoral votes are needed to win: 270. What happens in the popular vote doesn’t matter.
How does the electoral college work in Maine?
Maine is one of two states in the U.S. that splits its electoral votes (the other is Nebraska). Maine has four total electoral votes up for grabs. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won three, and Donald Trump won one.
Here’s a breakdown:
- 2 votes: Whoever wins the popular vote statewide.
- 1 vote: Whoever wins the popular vote in the 1st Congressional District.
- 1 vote: Whoever wins the popular vote in the 2nd Congressional District.
Another outlier among the 50 states, Maine will be the first state in U.S. history to implement ranked-choice voting in a presidential election this November
Voters rank candidates in order of preference, and no winner is declared until one candidate receives at least 50 percent of the vote. The votes are tabulated in rounds, with the lowest-ranked candidates eliminated in each round until there are only two candidates left. The candidate who is determined to have received the majority of the votes (more than 50 percent) in the final round is declared the winner.
If no candidate wins a majority of votes on Election Night in the races that have three or more candidates, the ballots and memory devices from each municipality are securely transported to a central tabulation site in Augusta. There, the winner is determined via rounds.