Maine voters are the first in the nation to endorse ranked-choice voting for statewide elections.   Now, the election overhaul must be implemented.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said he's already concerned about the ambitious timetable necessary to carry out implementation by 2018, as contemplated by the ballot question. He said constitutional questions may have to be answered, and the earliest that can happen is by early 2018.

Kyle Bailey from the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting acknowledged there's a lot of work to be done, but said there's no wiggle room on the implementation date. In his words, the referendum is a statute enacted by the people, "not a recommendation or an advisory opinion."

Dunlap said election officials and legislative leaders will meet in coming weeks for the first time to begin the implementation process.  —PORTLAND, Maine (AP)