Mills, Golden declared primary winners after RCV vote tabulation

Jared Golden

Janet Mills

ELLSWORTH — State Attorney General Janet Mills will be the Democratic candidate for governor when Mainers head to the general election polls this November.

Rep. Jared Golden will be the party’s nominee for Maine’s Second Congressional District.

The results were declared Wednesday, eight days after Mainers went to the polls in the June 12 primary elections. The races were determined by ranked choice voting, in which voters rank candidates on the ballot in order of preference.

Because neither Mills nor Golden secured the majority of first-choice votes (50 percent plus one), Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s office had to tabulate the results using ranked choice voting rounds.

General Courier of South Portland began collecting ballots and memory devices from all Maine municipalities beginning Thursday, June 14. Hand-count towns submitted their paper ballots. Municipalities that use voting machines submitted memory devices.

Issues with memory sticks from five municipalities, including Ellsworth and Orland, meant paper ballots had to be collected from those towns, delaying the tabulation process by a day.

Secretary of State’s Office staff members began processing the material on Friday, June 15. That included unlocking and unsealing each ballot box, unsealing and uploading all the memory devices, loading all of the votes into the high-speed tabulator results program and then certifying the results to ensure accuracy.

A computer algorithm did the math.

In the RCV calculation process, the candidate with the fewest number of first-choice votes is eliminated. The ballots of voters who picked that candidate first are recast for their second-choice candidates. The process continues until a candidate secures a majority of the votes.

The Secretary of State’s Office says the results are still “unofficial.” As usual, the official results of all primary races will be available 20 days after the election.

Shawn Moody won a majority of votes in the Republican gubernatorial primary and will face Mills in the November election.

Golden will challenge incumbent U.S. Rep Bruce Poliquin.

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