ELLSWORTH — Attorneys for U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) have asked a federal judge to order a new election for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District even if the ranked choice voting system used to settle the election is found to be in compliance with the Constitution.
The motion was filed late Tuesday night in Bangor, and is an amendment to an earlier lawsuit filed by Poliquin calling the ranked choice voting process unconstitutional.
This comes one day after Poliquin asked the Maine Secretary of State’s Office for a recount of all ballots cast. U.S. District Judge Lance Walker is set to hold a hearing for Poliquin’s lawsuit on Dec. 5.
This is the latest step the embattled Poliquin has taken since it became apparent that the election would be decided by the ranked choice voting process.
Poliquin’s first lawsuit had included a request for a temporary restraining order to stop the tabulation of ballots. Hours after that restraining order was denied, Democrat Jared Golden was declared the victor, having received 50.53 percent of the vote to Poliquin’s 49.47 percent.
While waiting for the next hearing in court, Poliquin has repeatedly criticized the ranked choice voting process and questioned the election results.
In a statement on Monday, Poliquin said, “We have heard from countless Maine voters who were confused and even frightened their votes did not count due to computer-engineered rank[ed] [choice] voting.
“Furthermore, we have become aware that the computer software and ‘BLACK BOX’ voting system utilized by the Secretary of State is secret. No one is able to view the software or computer algorithm used by a computer to determine elections. This artificial intelligence system is not transparent. Therefore, today, we are proceeding with a traditional ballot recount conducted by real people.”
The Secretary of State’s Office has disputed claims of election impropriety. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap has stated that a recount of the ballots could take about a month to complete.