Election 2018: Golden Winner In Ranked-Choice 2nd District Race
Democrat Jared Golden is the apparent winner of Maine's 2nd Congressional District seat after a second round of vote tabulations.
Golden, D-Lewiston, received 50.53 percent of the vote compared to incumbent U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin's 49.47 percent, according to results announced Thursday afternoon by the Maine Secretary of State's Office.
Golden received 139,231 votes compared to Poliquin's 136,326 votes.
The results were announced after a federal judge on Thursday ruled the ongoing vote count in the congressional race could continue.
Poliquin, a Republican, had requested that the court intervene in the count, in hopes of forcing state elections officials to stop the ranked-choice run-off.
Poliquin's lawsuit had asked U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker to declare the ranked-choice process unconstitutional. In his ruling, Walker said he would not interfere with the process and essentially declare Poliquin the winner.
"As it stands, the citizens of Maine have rejected the policy arguments plaintiffs advance against RCV," Walker wrote in his decision. "Maine voters cast their ballots in reliance on the RCV system. For the reasons indicated above, I am not persuaded that the United States Constitution compels the Court to interfere with this most sacred expression of democratic will by enjoining the ballot-counting process and declaring Representative Poliquin the victor."
After the first round of votes had been counted, Poliquin had roughly 2,000 more votes than Golden. However, under the state's newly adopted ranked-choice voting law, Poliquin did not receive a majority of votes (50 percent) needed to win outright, leading to a second round of vote tabulations.
The congressional race is the first in the nation to be decided by ranked-choice voting.
Poliquin on Thursday said he would continue with his legal challenge to the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting.