ELLSWORTH — Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s legal challenge to the ranked choice voting process is still winding its way through a U.S. Court of Appeals, but on Thursday, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap released the total cost of the recount for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race.
The final cost of the recount was $14,560.52. Having already submitted a $5,000 deposit, Poliquin’s campaign is still required to pay the remaining $9,560.52. The total amount covers almost $2,500 to the Secretary of State’s Office, as well as roughly $12,000 covering pay for the Maine State Police troopers who physically retrieved around 296,000 ballots from across the district.
The recount, which took place in Augusta from Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 10-14, was called off after roughly 165,000 of the 296,000 ballots cast had been recounted. Poliquin is required to foot the bill under Maine law because the recount did not change the results of the election.
Poliquin, who led Democratic challenger and now Rep.-elect Jared Golden on election night but ultimately lost once the ballots were tabulated using ranked choice voting, is still mounting a legal challenge to the process. Having initially asked the Secretary of State’s Office to halt using the ranked choice voting process, Poliquin subsequently filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ranked choice voting and asking that a new election be held. That lawsuit was struck down by U.S District Court Judge Lance Walker a day before the recount ended.
Poliquin filed an appeal on Dec. 18 with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. In the interim, the results of the election were certified by Dunlap and sent to Washington, D.C., where Jared Golden is expected to be sworn in on Jan. 3.