Outgoing U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin will have to pay a balance of $9,560 for the 2nd House District recount, which concluded last week, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said Thursday.
Dunlap named Poliquin’s Democratic opponent, Jared Golden, the winner of the race by roughly 3,500 votes as Maine became the first state to use ranked-choice voting in congressional elections. The two-term incumbent Poliquin has challenged the results both by asking for a recount and by suing the secretary of state over the constitutionality of the new voting method.
The recount cost $14,560.52, which includes the $5,000 deposit Poliquin’s campaign was required to pay before the ballot re-examination began, Dunlap said.
The total amount covers pay for the time it took for Maine State Police troopers to retrieve roughly 296,000 ballots across the far-reaching district — $12,114.36 — and the more than six business days state staff spent overseeing the hand-counting those ballots, which was completed by Poliquin and Golden campaign volunteers — $2,446.16.
Poliquin’s campaign was also required to provide food for election workers each day of the recount, which amounted to about $150 a day, Dunlap said.
Roughly 165,000 ballots had been counted and the process was more than halfway complete when Poliquin called it off last Friday, a day after the Republican congressman’s legal challenge of ranked-choice voting was struck down by U.S. District Court Judge Lance Walker.
On Monday, calling the ranked-choice voting system endorsed twice by Maine voters in referendums the result of a “largely out-of-state-funded push to change our election system which has worked well for more than one hundred years,” Poliquin signaled his intent to appeal Walker’s decision — a move that will likely extend the life of the lawsuit by months.
He formally filed with the 1st Circuit appeals court in Boston on Tuesday and asked the court to stop state officials from certifying Golden as the race’s winner, who’s slated to be sworn into the position Jan. 3. Dunlap certified those results Wednesday.
Though Poliquin earned more first-choice votes than Golden on Election Day, Golden beat him in subsequent rounds of ranked-choice tabulation.