News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, November 22, 2018 and Island Ad-Vantages, November 22, 2018 and The Weekly Packet, November 22, 2018
Golden edges out Poliquin with RCV

by Faith DeAmbrose

With the first-in-the-nation instant run-off tabulation complete in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has declared Jared Golden the winner edging out two-term incumbent Bruce Poliquin after a hotly contested and expensive battle that saw millions of dollars of outside money pour into the state by way of television and mailed advertisements.

Results are deemed unofficial until final tabulations are delivered to the governor, 20 days after the election.

On election day, November 6, neither candidate had garnered the necessary 50 percent of votes to stave off a ranked-choice run off, a method approved and then reaffirmed by voters in 2016 and 2018.

Poliquin, with 131,631 votes, or 46.41 percent out-polled—vote for vote—Golden’s 128,999 votes leaving him to trail by one percentage point at 45.48 percent. When RCV was applied and the two losing candidates’ votes were applied to the top two vote getters, 4,695 votes transfer to Poliquin and 10,232 to Golden, giving Golden 50.53 percent and Poliqiun 49.47 percent.

The November 15 run off was conducted after a federal judge denied Poliquin’s request to stop the tabulation citing the use of RCV as unconstitutional. Poliquin said he won election night “fair and square,” while Golden’s camp issued a statement stating that “[the] candidates campaigned, and the people of Maine’s 2nd District voted in accordance with the law.”

Poliquin has until November 22 to decide whether he will request a recount.