Federal Judge Rules Against Poliquin In Ranked-Choice Challenge
A federal judge has ruled against U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin's legal challenge to Maine's ranked-choice voting system.
U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker, a recent Trump appointee, rejected Poliquin's position that the ranked-choice system was unconstitutional, according to the Portland Press Herald.
In his decision, he said states have wide latitude to determine how to run their elections.
Democrat Jared Golden was declared the winner of the 2nd District congressional seat after a tabulation of the ranked choice votes. The race had to go to a second round of counting when none of the four candidates finished with a majority after a first round of counting on Election Day.
In that second tabulation, Golden finished with roughly 3,500 more votes that Poliquin, the Republican incumbent.
Poliquin had asked the court to void the results of the ranked-choice vote and declare him the winner. While Poliquin did not achieve the 50-percent threshold in the first round of voting, he did finish with more votes than Golden.
Supporters of Maine's ranked-choice voting law applauded the decision.
"The Courts have again confirmed that nothing in Maine’s Ranked Choice Voting Law violates the U.S. Constitution,” said James Monteleone, attorney for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting. “The Court conclusively defends the constitutionality of Ranked Choice Voting in an opinion that will stand up to any appeal."
Poliquin, or any of the other plaintiffs in the case, could appeal the decision.
A recount currently is underway in the race. Poliquin requested the recount, which is expected to take several more weeks to complete.