Politics

Defeated GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin Calls for Recount to End

Maine Republican still has concerns about state’s ranked-choice voting system

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, lost his re-election to Democrat Jared Golden. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Bruce Poliquin called Friday for the recount in his 2nd District to end. The Maine Republican initially requested the recount following his apparent loss to Democrat Jared Golden

Poliquin lost his race as part of the state’s new ranked-choice voting system for congressional races. Voters rank their choices in order of preference. If no candidate receives a majority, the last place candidate’s votes are distributed to his or her supporters’ second choice. The process of elimination continues until a candidate gets majority support.

Poliquin had a slight lead in the first round but did not win a majority. Golden went on to win a majority on the second round of the process.

“The recount process has confirmed, and re-affirmed, an important fact: I won the largest number of votes on Election Day,” Poliquin said in a statement posted on Facebook. “... 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.”

Poliquin had also challenged the ranked-choice system in court, but a federal judge rejected that challenge Thursday.

Poliquin’s defeat means there will be no Republicans from New England in the House next year. But Golden, a Marine veteran and state legislator, will likely be a top GOP target in 2020. Trump carried the expansive 2nd District by 11 points in 2016.

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