As expected, the Ranked Choice Voter system that allows people who vote for minor candidates to effectively have more voting power than those who support major party candidates changed the outcome of Maine’s 2nd District campaign. Now, Democratic state Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) will be declared the victor by just under 3,000 votes, as the second and third choices from the voters who supported the two independent candidates were factored in to the major party totals. The incumbent, Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Oakland/Bangor), as we stated here earlier this week, has already filed a lawsuit against the instant run-off procedure.
When casting their ballots in Maine federal races, voters are asked to rank their choices. If no candidate receives majority support on the first vote, the last place candidate’s ballots are then recovered to determine how his or her voters ranked the other candidates. Those new votes are then added to the other candidates’ totals. If all are still under 50%, the new last place finisher’s ballots are recovered, and the same process is applied. This procedure continues until the ranked votes puts another candidate over the 50% mark. The state Supreme Court has already ruled that this process cannot be applied to state races. Mr. Poliquin is now asking a federal court to declare the system unconstitutional.
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