City councilor David Marshall, who came in fourth in the first round of vote counts on Election Day, said just a moment ago he thinks it’s just a matter of time before frontrunner Michael Brennan is officially named winner of the historic Portland mayoral race.
“I think Michael Brennan is the winner at this point,” Marshall said. “We just need to go through the ranked choice process.”
Marshall said he thinks Brennan will get enough second choice votes, which will be entered into the mix this evening (hopefully) to definitively determine the race, to claim victory. Those retabulations are likely hours from being conducted.
Despite the long Day 2 processes that are still ongoing, though, Marshall said he believes the city should stick with ranked choice voting moving forward. He said the city will be required by the state in the coming years to replace its ballot counting machines, and at that point, the city will consider investing in machines that can calculate the ranked choice results much more quickly than what Portlanders are watching today.
“We need to take the long view on this and look at new voting machines that can do ranked choice counting instantly,” Marshall said.
Marshall said he plans to continue pushing new ideas and new initiatives from his seat on the City Council, and said ranked choice voting nurtured a more positive campaign season in Maine’s largest city.
“I went up to homes where they had campaign signs for other candidates on the lawn, and engaged them in conversations,” he said. “Sometimes they said, ‘I’m already committed to vote for another candidate,’ but with ranked choice voting, I could ask them to consider me as their second choice or third choice.”