Maine lawyers Benjamin Grant and Joshua Tardy are used to being holed up together. For at least eight hours a day over the past week, they’ve rubbed shoulders in a cramped conference room in Augusta, overseeing the hand recount of the nearly 300,000 ballots cast in Maine’s 2nd District. “We’re like Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner,” Tardy joked. “You gotta have each other.” Grant, a Democrat, and Tardy, a Republican, have handled most of the state House and Senate recounts in the Pine Tree State for the past decade. GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin requested the recount of the 2nd District after losing to Democrat Jared Golden last month under the new ranked-choice voting system. The mechanics of this recount are slightly different, but the intimacy of the process — with opposing campaigns examining paper ballots side by side — is similar to what happens across the country when the counting, for one reason or another, must begin anew.
Poliquin requested the recount late last month after final results showed him coming up short in his bid for a third term. He narrowly led Golden after the first round of counting, but his failure to receive more than 50 percent of the vote triggered the state’s ranked-choice system — used for the first time for a House race.
Under the system, which was also used in the June primaries, voters rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate gets a majority, the last-place finisher is knocked out and his votes are then distributed to his supporters’ second choices. The process repeats until someone wins a majority.
Full Article: Maine Recount Is a Low-Drama Affair — Unlike the Election.