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District 2 race will come down to ranked-choice voting

The Secretary of State confirms the fight for Maine’s Second District will go into rounds of ranked-choice voting, which could take days. (WGME)

PORTLAND (WGME) -- The Secretary of State confirms the fight for Maine’s Second District will go into rounds of ranked-choice voting, which could take days.

Right now, the numbers show Republican Bruce Poliquin with a slight lead over Democrat Jared Golden, with neither getting to the required "50 percent plus one vote."

Out of more than 250,000 votes total, only about 1,000 separate them.

Neither Democratic Challenger Jared Golden, nor Republican Incumbent Bruce Poliquin, have topped 50 percent of the vote.

That means this will go to a ranked-choice vote with the more than 20,000 Mainers who voted for the two independents deciding the outcome of this race.

Tiffany Bond received more than 15,000 of those votes.

"The people I appeal to are the swing voters,” Bond said. “And they're not just the swing voters in this election. They're the swing voters in every election. It's the people who determine the outcome of races."

Bond says she doesn't want Bruce Poliquin back in Congress, and it's the second or even third choice of those Bond voters who will likely decide the outcome of this race.

Ron Schmidt, an Associate Professor of Political Science at USM, says there is another wrinkle that could delay the outcome.

"A lot of republicans in the state say that they doubt the Constitutionality of ranked-choice voting,” Schmidt said. “So Representative Poliquin might choose to sue over this, and we could see an even more protracted legal battle over the outcome."

It may be early next week before we know the results of the ranked-choice vote and a winner is declared.

Jared Golden says he will stand by those results.

Bruce Poliquin did not make that same commitment.

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