GOP Rep. Bruce Poliquin (Maine) is asking a federal judge to order a new election if he declines to invalidate his loss and declare Poliquin the winner, The Associated Press reports.
Judge Lance Walker declined to stop the ballot-counting process in which Democrat Jared Golden was declared the winner in the nation’s first ranked-balloting in a congressional election.
But Poliquin wants the Trump-appointed judge to declare the voting system unconstitutional, and issued a request for the judge to either declare him the winner or order a second election.
According to the AP, the updated court filing late Tuesday was made ahead of a hearing next week on ranked-choice voting in federal court in Bangor.
The ranked-choice system, approved in 2016, lets voters rank all candidates from first to last on the ballot. If no one gets a majority, then last-place candidates are eliminated and their second-place votes are reallocated.
In this case, additional voting tabulations were necessary because Poliquin and Golden both collected 46 percent of first-place votes, meaning neither candidate collected a majority of the vote.
Golden emerged victorious by about 3,500 votes after two trailing candidates were eliminated and their supporters’ second-choices were reassigned in a computer-assisted process in Augusta.
For now, the ranked-choice voting system is used only in federal races and in statewide primary elections in Maine.
It cannot be used in the governor’s race or legislative races because of concerns it runs afoul of the Maine Constitution.
Democratic Gov.-elect Janet Mills said she intends to press for an amendment to the Maine Constitution so the system can be used in all elections.
That would require legislative approval and another statewide vote.