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What happens next as Maine’s 2nd District race heads to a new round of ranked-choice voting

Good morning from Augusta. Maine is entering a milestone in its first-in-the-nation experiment with ranked-choice voting, which will apply to the racebetween U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Assistant House Majority Leader Jared Golden in the 2nd Congressional District.

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Wednesday that the race would proceed to a ranked-choice count. With nearly 92 percent of precincts reporting to the Bangor Daily News this morning, Poliquin had 46.1 percent of first-round votes to 45.8 percent for Golden — a difference of 702 votes. Just over 8 percent of votes went to the left-leaning independents in the race.

Ballot collection across the vast district will begin today and a result is expected next week. But a legal challenge is looking likely to come if Poliquin’s narrow lead is erased after the independents’ vote are re-distributed. Gov. Paul LePage urged that challenge today.

Here’s how the ranked-choice process — and a possible recount — would work. Private couriers hired by Dunlap’s office will be picking up memory sticks holding ballot information and paper ballots from towns that still count by hand across the 2nd District on Thursday.

To read the rest of “What happens next as Maine’s 2nd District race heads to a new round of ranked-choice voting,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Michael Shepherd, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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