ELLSWORTH — Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin announced on Friday that he is ending the recount of ballots in Maine’s 2nd Congressional District.
In an announcement posted to Poliquin’s personal Twitter account, he continued to reiterate that he received more votes than Democratic challenger Jared Golden on Election Day, and indicated that his decision was motivated by the approaching holiday season.
“The recount process has confirmed, and re-affirmed, an important fact: I won the largest number of votes on Election Day,” read the Twitter statement.
“Although we continue the legal process and the need for an appeal on the constitutionality of rank voting, due to the impending holidays, I believe it’s important to end the recount process, Poliquin continued.
In a tight race, Poliquin led Golden following the Nov. 6 election, but did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote, triggering the ranked choice voting process.
The official tally of votes from the Maine Secretary of State’s office now has the victor Jared Golden with 142,440 votes to Poliquin’s 138,931. The Secretary of State’s Office also stated that 165,000 of 295,000 ballots cast had been recounted as of Friday morning.
“The fact that the total votes cast for the two party candidates did not substantially change speaks well for the process that was utilized, and for the hard work by our municipal election officials in implementing ranked choice voting. In the end, this election was not decided by technology or election laws — it was decided by the voters,” said Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap in a press release.
On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker dismissed claims made by Poliquin that the ranked choice voting process was unconstitutional. Walker also dismissed Poliquin’s request that a new election be held, although Poliquin is still considering appealing his lawsuit.