Poliquin Calls Off 2nd District Recount, Weighs Appeal Of Court Ruling
Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has called for the end to a recount in the 2nd District House race.
The request came one day after a federal judge rejected Poliquin's legal challenge to the constitutionality of the state's ranked-choice voting system. That system resulted in Poliquin's defeat to Democrat Jared Golden.
The Maine Secretary of State's Office already had hand-counted roughly 140,000 ballots at the time of Poliquin's Friday morning call to end the process "due to the impending Holidays."
"The recount process has confirmed, and re-affirmed, an important fact: I won the largest number of votes on Election Day. In fact, our volunteer and leadership team overseeing the recount reports my Election Day total has increased and I now hold over 2,200 more votes than my closest opponent. Although we continue to evaluate the legal process and the need for an Appeal on the Constitutionality of rank voting, due to the impending Holidays, I believe it’s important to end the recount process. There continue to be unanswered questions on the use of rank voting, including ballots which voters state appeared in the wrong Congressional District. Maine people continue to write and approach me with grave concerns over rank voting. I understand their concerns, and the need for our elections to be transparent and fair.”
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 than Poliquin.
In his statement, Poliquin left open the possibility of an appeal of the federal judge's decision.
Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap on Friday alluded to the possibility of an appeal, but said the election was essentially over.
“While the challenger who requested this recount has continuing legal rights to pursue an appeal of the recent U.S. District Court ruling regarding the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting, for all practical purposes this election is concluded with the cessation of the recount, and the District Court’s ruling makes it legally clear that it is not unconstitutional to lose an election."