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Defeated GOP Congressman Calls for Hand Recount in Historic Ranked Choice Election

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

AUGUSTA, MAINE - US Rep. Bruce Poliquin announced Monday that his campaign was officially requesting a hand recount in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, the first House race to be decided by ranked choice voting.

Poliquin and his campaign made the following statement:

Poliquin currently trails Democrat Jared Golden by more than 3,500 votes. Golden was pushed over the 50% threshold after the second round of ranked choice tabulation, garnering 50.53% of the vote.

Yet Poliquin is not taking his loss lying down. He is challenging the constitutionality of ranked choice voting in federal court -- a case that will be heard on December 4. Then there is this request for a hand recount, a process that could take up to 4 weeks, according to Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap's office.

“A ranked-choice recount is not something that we have ever done before, so it’s a rough estimate,” said Kristen Muszynski, spokeswoman for Democratic Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. “But it’s a longer process because of the (ranked-choice) rounds, so the estimate is it will be about four weeks to do the whole recount.”

If the results of the recount are not reversed, Poliquin's campaign will have to bear the cost of the recount. Stay tuned for more updates on this story.

Photo Credit: US Department of Agriculture

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