After a lengthy recount process and two-month legal battle in the election of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Maine Gov. Paul LePage signed the certifying letter Democrat Jared Golden as the new member to Congress. But LePage put his own personal stamp on the certificate. Next to his PRL initials, LePage wrote “Stolen Election.” He sent a tweet with the photo and yet another remark for the world to see. “I’ve signed off on the CD2 election result as it’s no longer in federal court. Ranked Choice Voting didn’t result in a true majority as promised-simply a plurality measured differently. It didn’t keep big money out of politics & didn’t result in a more civil election #mepolitics”
Ranked-choice voting was implemented in Maine this mid-term for the first time. It allows voters to rank candidates in federal races in their preferential order, in the case one opponent doesn’t win a majority of the vote.
GOP incumbent Bruce Poliquin led Golden by a percentage point in late October, according to this CNN report. At the polls, Poliquin won the more first-choice votes than Golden, but neither won a majority. Once election officials moved the process into later rounds of counting, they eliminated the votes of the two independents on the ballot. This resulted in Golden garnering more votes.
If that’s not confusing enough, many voters at the polls seem confused by the process — a computer-engineered system in which many thought their votes might not count.