ELLSWORTH — Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin is appealing the ruling last week by a federal judge denying his claims that the ranked choice voting process used in November’s election was unconstitutional.
Poliquin filed his appeal with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday, less than a week after U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker struck down Poliquin’s lawsuit.
“As one of the four plaintiffs in this constitutional voting rights case, I take these concerns very seriously. Every Mainer deserves to know if his or her vote cast for a candidate for federal office, either the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, under the complicated and confusing rank vote process will be fully legal moving forward. It appears there are several questions and concerns which remain unanswered,” Poliquin said in a statement Monday night. “The Maine Supreme Court has already ruled rank voting is unconstitutional in selecting our Governor and State Legislators in general elections under the Maine Constitution. Rank voting came to Maine due to a largely out-of-state funded push to change our election system which has worked well for more than one hundred years. Maine’s 2nd District voters twice rejected this confusing change despite a mostly out-of-state funded initiative to have it thrust upon the state. There is noting more sacred than our one-person, one-vote Constitutional right.”
Poliquin received a plurality of votes on election night but not a 50-percent majority. He lost to Democratic challenger Jared Golden after the ranked choice voting process was used to tabulate ballots. Ranked-choice voting, which was approved by Maine voters through a statewide referendum in 2016, redistributed the second choices of people who had voted for independent candidates Tiffany Bond or William Hoar to either Poliquin or Golden.
Poliquin, who has widely criticized ranked choice voting and questioned what he called the “black box computer algorithm” used to calculate votes, last Friday ended his recount of the ballots for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
The appellate court is expected to release its schedule for written arguments soon.