Maine congressman loses seat in controversial ranked-choice voting race

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Democrat Jared Golden defeated incumbent GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin after votes have been counted in Maine’s controversial ranked-choice voting system, in keeping with election officers.

Golden’s win comes after Poliquin, the two-term incumbent, technically acquired essentially the most votes within the first spherical of the system. Poliquin led with 46.three p.c of votes in comparison with Golden’s 45.6, in keeping with unofficial outcomes, the Bangor Every day Information reported.

As a result of no candidate garnered greater than 50 p.c of the vote, the ranked-choice voting (RCV) methodology kicked in. Underneath this method, if no candidate receives a majority, then votes are counted in rounds with the lowest-ranked candidate eradicated per spherical till solely two stay in a mathematical sport of survival. For instance, as soon as a candidate is eradicated, the second-choice picks for voters who selected that eradicated candidate will then be counted because the remaining contenders transfer on to the following spherical. This course of continues till solely two candidates stay, with one receiving nearly all of the vote – and declared the winner.

About eight p.c of voters selected two independents within the first spherical for the 2nd congressional district race: Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar. After one other spherical of voting, Poliquin misplaced by lower than three,000 votes, in keeping with election officers.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, filed a federal lawsuit in opposition to Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap in an try and cease a tabulation of ranked-choice ballots in his race in opposition to Democratic challenger Jared Golden. 
(AP Photograph/Robert F. Bukaty)

Earlier this week, Poliquin sued the Maine secretary of state, claiming the RCV system has “undermined” constituents’ voting rights. U.S. District Decide Lance Walker heard arguments within the case Wednesday however declined to intervene and cease the method. Nevertheless, as a result of he did not rule on the constitutionality of the RCV system, Poliquin’s lawsuit continues to be legitimate.

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“As a substitute of respecting this necessary constitutional precept, the RCV Act immediately contravenes it by denying people who obtained the very best variety of votes after the primary spherical of balloting – on this case, Bruce Poliquin – from being declared the winner of the overall election,” the go well with claims.

In a victory speech, Golden mentioned Maine voters confirmed they “desire a new technology of leaders who will repair our dysfunctional political system in order that it serves the folks before everything,” in keeping with the Bangor Every day Information.

“That is precisely the way in which ranked alternative voting empowers voters,” Rob Richie, FairVote president and CEO, mentioned in a press release offered to Fox Information. “The voice of each voter ought to matter. We now know which candidate most 2nd Congressional District supporters need to characterize them in Congress for the following two years.”

Maine is the primary state within the nation to make use of the system – although it wasn’t used for all races within the Nov. 6 election. It was used for the U.S. Senate race (with incumbent Angus King profitable re-election) and the U.S. Home races for the first and 2nd congressional districts. It was not used within the gubernatorial election, amongst others, due to considerations it runs afoul of Maine’s Structure.

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There was no controversy in Maine’s different Home race and Senate race. Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree and unbiased King every gained with a majority of the vote, making additional tabulations pointless.

Democratic governor-elect Janet Mills has promised to hunt to amend Maine’s structure so the system can be utilized in all elections.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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