AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has confirmed that the recount of ballots in the Nov. 6, 2018 General Election U.S. House of Representatives Congressional District 2 race has ended.
Candidate Bruce Poliquin, who had requested the recount on Nov. 26, notified Sec. Dunlap of his decision to terminate the process at 11 a.m. today.
"After recounting 165,000 of the 296,000 ballots cast in the November 6 election for the Second Congressional District race, the challenger has exercised his right to end the recount," said Secretary Dunlap. "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."
The official tabulation of the CD2 race will now stand, showing candidate Jared Golden (D) with 142,440 votes and Poliquin (R) with 138,931 votes.
The recount took place during regular business days, Dec. 6-14, at the secure counting site in the Elkins Building,19 Elkins Lane, Augusta. Per Maine law, Poliquin is responsible for the state's "actual cost" to conduct the recount, as it did not change the outcome of the election.
"I would like to thank all involved-the staff of the Department of the Secretary of State, the attorneys and coordinators for both campaigns, and especially the counters representing the two campaigns for demonstrating to the world that democracy is the very definition of civil self-governance," said Secretary Dunlap. "The campaign counters conducted themselves with civility, commitment and professionalism throughout the duration of the recount.
"While the challenger who requested this recount has continuing legal rights to pursue an appeal of the recent U.S. District Court ruling regarding the constitutionality of ranked-choice voting, for all practical purposes this election is concluded with the cessation of the recount, and the District Court's ruling makes it legally clear that it is not unconstitutional to lose an election.
"I congratulate all the candidates in this race for having the courage to step up to make our future brighter and congratulate Congressman-elect Jared Golden for his victory."