GOP governor threatens not to certify primary election results


Maine's Gov. Paul LePage throws a temper tantrum and refuses to do his job.

Paul LePage, Maine's Republican governor who styles himself as a Trump-like politician, is threatening to not certify Tuesday's election results, the latest in a long string of GOP attempts to interfere with and belittle the voting process.

Gov. Paul LePage made the threat because he doesn't like new, ranked-choice voting system that the state recently passed into law. The ranked-choice approach allows citizens to rank votes for candidates in order of preference.

The Republican Party in Maine had fought the ballot change in court, but in April, the state's Supreme Court ruled in favor of ranked-choice voting system, and then a federal judge agreed. Maine voters approved the balloting initiative back in 2016.

Still, LePage this week called the voting system "the most horrific thing in the world" and said he "probably" won’t certify the results and instead will "leave it up to the courts to decide," according to the Portland Press Herald.

The system is being used on Tuesday in both the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primary contests, and for the Democratic primary race in Maine's 2nd Congressional District.

LePage's threat to not properly honor ballots cast follows an aggressive push by Republicans nationwide to try to subvert, or deeply hamper, the voting process.

On Monday, the Republican-controlled United States Supreme Court upheld an Ohio law that allowed officials to kick people off the state's voter roll if they failed to vote in several elections and then didn't respond to a mailed notice.

Following his popular-vote loss to Hillary Clinton in 2016, Trump famously announced that "millions" of people had voted illegally, a fantastic claim that has no basis in reality.

Trump even commissioned a presidential panel, headed by Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, to look into the supposed plague of voter fraud, but the group's search came up empty.

LePage echoing Trump has become a common sight and sound. "Like the president, LePage has declared war on the news media, stoked fears about immigrants, and linked minorities with crime," the Boston Globe has noted.

LePage once suggested "we need a Donald Trump to show some authoritarian power" to help bring back "the rule of law."

In the end, LePage's recent election bluster might not matter.

According to Maine's secretary of state, Tuesday's election results don't need to be certified by the governor because they're primary contests run by the parties to choose candidates, not contests that will determine elected positions.

Like Trump, LePage is also ineffectual.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.