AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER MAINE) — Candidates and voters should learn Thursday whether Bruce Poliquin or Jared Golden won the ranked-choice count for Maine’s 2nd Congressional district.
The Secretary of State has spent the past five days processing ballots from the 375 towns and cities in CD2.
That work continued Wednesday, despite uncertainty created by a lawsuit filed Tuesday against ranked choice. That suit was filed by Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin and three others, claiming the RCV process violates the U.S. Constitution.
Maine’s ranked-choice voting law was passed by voters in 2016.
Lawyers were in federal court Wednesday morning for a hearing on a temporary restraining order requested by the lawyer for Poliquin and the others.
“I believe the secretary of state should give due respect to this federal court to give this court time to begin reviewing and deciding these profoundly important constitutional rights of the people of Maine.,” said Lee Goodman, the attorney for the plaintiffs who brought the suit.
But lawyers for Jared Golden and ranked choice supporters claimed the lawsuit had little chance of succeeding and said the ranked-choice should be completed.
“It should be enacted and counted as voters all expected when they went to the polls Nov. 6 and made decisions about candidate selection knowing this law would apply.,” said James Monteleone, representing RCV supporters.
The judge said he would try to issue a ruling on the TRO request on Thursday. Meanwhile, Secretary Matt Dunlap said he intends to complete the ranked-choice process.
“Barring an injunction, we intend to show the rankings and see what voters had to say on election night.,” Dunlap said. “That's our job. Our job is to reflect what the voters did on election day and make that public and known so we can go on and seat a Congressman sometime here in January.”
The spokeswoman for the Secretary of State said they expect to be able to run the actual RCV vote count sometime Thursday.