Golden declared victor in 2nd CD race

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden will serve another two years representing Maine’s 2nd Congressional District following a ranked-choice voting count that gave him 53% of the vote.

Golden, a Democrat first elected in 2018, defeated former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican, who earned 47%, according to results announced Wednesday by Secretary of State Shenna Bellows.

Election night results showed Golden with 48%, Poliquin with 45% and independent Tiffany Bond with 7%. Since no candidate received 50%, Maine law calls for the ranked-choice system to be used.

Approved by Maine voters in 2016, the ranked-choice system allows voters to rank their candidates in order of preference. When no one receives 50%, the last place finisher is eliminated and that person’s second place votes are reallocated to the two remaining candidates.

In this instance, Bond received 21,655 votes and there were 393 write-ins. After the second-place votes were reallocated, the final totals gave Golden 165,136 votes and Poliquin 146,142.

The count was pushed from Tuesday to Wednesday after three memory sticks containing images of ballots failed to upload into a state database. The images are necessary for the ranked-choice count, so police officers fetched paper ballots from Bangor, Hampden and Anson.

On Wednesday, state election officials fed the ballots — about 17,000 — through a large tabulator then compared the results to tallies released by clerks on election night.

“Maine has the gold standard in election integrity and that is always paper ballots,” Bellows said.

The Wednesday total for Bangor differed by 66 votes, but officials representing the Golden and Poliquin campaigns agreed to accept the discrepancy because it would not change the outcome of the election.

Although Golden didn’t officially win until Wednesday, he declared victory last week, telling reporters that the results were already clear.

“I am deeply honored that the people of Maine’s 2nd District have chosen me to represent them in Washington for another two-year term,” said Golden, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran and former Maine lawmaker from Lewiston

Before counting Bond’s second-place votes, the staff from the Maine Department of Secretary of State verified results to make sure they match election night totals reported by more than 300 cities and towns. The process began mid-day Monday, continued all day Tuesday and concluded just after 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Golden’s victory completes a Democratic sweep in Maine as the party continues to hold both seats in the U.S. House, the governor’s office and the state House and Senate.

In Washington, Golden will likely serve in a Republican House. The GOP is just one seat away from the majority with nine races yet to be called, according to the New York Times.

Read More: Golden declared victor in 2nd CD race

2022-11-16 15:42:00

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