On Election Day neither of the two leading candidates for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat - incumbent Bruce Poliquin and challenger Jared Golden - received a majority of the vote, causing the contest to be determined by ranked choice voting for the first time in a US congressional race. Poliquin and three 2nd District voters brought suit against Secretary of State Matt Dunlap this week in an effort to stop the ranked-choice ballot count and declare Poliquin the winner in his re-election contest before the ranked choice votes were counted.
After hearing arguments from attorneys, Federal District Judge Lance Walker ruled against Poliquin’s effort to stop the ranked-choice tabulation. "I am not persuaded that the United States Constitution compels the Court to interfere with this most sacred expression of democratic will by enjoining the ballot-counting process and declaring Representative Poliquin the victor. Plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order is denied," the judge wrote.
Jared Golden is represented by Drummond Woodsum Attorneys Jamie Kilbreth and David Kallin, along with attorneys from Brann & Isaacson in Lewiston and Perkins Coie in Washington DC. “We are proud to have represented Jared in such a historic case. Rank choice voting has been affirmed by the people of Maine twice and upheld by the courts numerous times. Nothing is more important than upholding the integrity of our election system and making sure every vote counts,” said Kilbreth.
Shortly after the ruling election officials finalized the runoff tabulation and Secretary of State Matt Dunlap declared Democrat Jared Golden the winner in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, defeating incumbent Bruce Poliquin.
“Although Poliquin apparently will continue to contest ranked choice voting and the election results, we are confident that Jared will prevail,” Kilbreth added.