AUGUSTA (NEWS CENTER Maine) -- The ballots from Maine's Second District are scheduled to reach Augusta by Thursday afternoon where, once all are collected, they will be tabulated and run through the ranked choice process.
But it still could be another week before Mainers know who will represent District Two in Congress.
On Tuesday, neither incumbent Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin or opponent Democrat Jared Golden walked away with 50% of the vote. In order to avoid going into the ranked-choice process, one candidate needs to have the majority of the votes to win the congressional seat.
As it stands, both Poliquin and Golden each are holding roughly 46% of the vote.
In an email to NEWS CENTER Maine Thursday morning, Poliquin's campaign insists the current Congressman "won" the election night tally by an "internal count of 2,000 votes."
According to the latest numbers from reporting voting precincts, Poliquin leads Golden by less than 900 votes, but that still isn't enough to give him the majority.
Once all the ballots are delivered to the Elkins Building in the Williams Pavilion in Augusta, the ranking process will begin. Ballots with the last place finisher independent Will Hoar will be removed and will have their second choice candidates counted instead.
This process of elimination will continue until one candidate has a clear majority.
The Secretary of State's office expects the ballots to begin arriving around 2 p.m. Thursday.
In June, when ranked choice was used to determine who would represent the Democrats in the gubernatorial race, the process took about a week.
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap believes the process will take about the same amount of time to determine who will represent Maine's Second District in Congress.