Rep. Bruce Poliquin on Friday ended the hand recount of ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race, but might still appeal a federal judge’s ruling on his constitutional challenge of ranked-choice voting. In a statement, Poliquin pointed out that he captured the most votes on Election Day – a fact that has never been in question – but said he is ending the recount. With more than 50 percent of the recount complete, Poliquin had yet to pick up a substantial number of votes in the ranked-choice runoff that would allow him to surpass Democratic Rep.-elect Jared Golden. Poliquin, a two-term Republican, trails Golden by more than 3,500 votes following the nation’s first use of ranked-choice voting to decide a congressional election.
“Although we continue to evaluate the legal process and the need for an appeal on the constitutionality of rank voting, due to the impending holidays, I believe it is important to end the recount process,” Poliquin said. “There continue to be unanswered questions on the use of rank voting, including ballots which voters state appeared in the wrong congressional district. Maine people continue to write and approach me with grave concerns over rank voting. I understand their concerns and the need for our elections to be transparent and fair.”