Voters to decide congressional primaries in Maine, and primary runoffs in Alabama, Texas

The statewide primary election for Maine is on July 14, 2020. The filing deadline passed on March 16. Candidates are running in elections for the following offices:

  • 1 member of the U.S. Senate
  • 2 members of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • 35 state Senate seats
  • 151 state House seats

Candidates are competing to advance to the general election scheduled for November 3, 2020. Maine uses a ranked-choice voting system (RCV), in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. As of July 2020, Maine was the only state that had adopted RCV at the state level, although other states have adopted RCV at the municipal level or have adopted RCV but not yet implemented it.

Maine’s primary election is the 31st to take place in the 2020 election cycle. The next primary is on August 4 in Arizona.

Alabama and Texas are holding statewide primary runoffs on July 14. The filing deadline to run in Alabama passed on November 8, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Alabama, a candidate must win a majority of votes cast in the primary election. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two candidates advance to the primary runoff election. Alabama’s primary election was held on March 3, 2020. Eight offices advanced to primary runoffs in Alabama, including races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the state court of criminal appeals, the Alabama State Board of Education, and several municipal-level races.

In Texas, the filing deadline to run for office passed on December 9, 2019. To avoid a primary runoff in Texas, a candidate must win a majority of the votes in the primary election. If no candidate wins a majority of votes, the top two candidates advance to the primary runoff election. Texas’ primary was held on March 3, 2020. Seventy-four offices advanced to primary runoffs in Texas including races for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the state legislature, the state court of appeals, and the state railroad commission. Multiple municipal-level races also advanced to primary runoffs.

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About the author

Mandy Gillip

Mandy Gillip is a project director at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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