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Politics

Golden Wins Runoff Round, Judge Denies Poliquin's Motion

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Robert F. Bukaty
/
Maine Public
In this Nov. 12, 2018 file photo, ballots are prepared to be tabulated for Maine's Second Congressional District's House election in Augusta.

The nation’s first ranked-choice voting runoff will take place at noon Thursday at a counting facility in Augusta.

The closely-watched process of scanning ballots to determine whether Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin will retain his seat, or lose it to Democratic challenger Jared Golden, concluded Thursday morning.

Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn announced that the runoff, which will tabulate how voters ranked the four candidates in the race, will proceed.

Poliquin led Golden by roughly 2,000 votes heading into the runoff, but not by enough to obtain more than 50 percent of the vote, which is required to win under the ranked-choice voting law that Mainers approved two years ago.

An exit poll by FairVote, Colby College and the Bangor Daily News suggested that Golden could obtain enough second- and third-place rankings from voters who picked independents Will Hoard and Tiffany Bond first to win.

Poliquin filed a federal lawsuit attempting to block the count, claiming that the election system is unconstitutional. A federal judge denied Poliquin's motion for a restraining order to halt today's RCV runoff Thursday morning.

Brendan Conley, a spokesperson from the Poliquin campaign, emailed a statement saying, “If Congressman Poliquin prevails in the rank vote algorithm, we will still proceed with constitutional concerns."

Update 11:26 a.m.