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Tuesday’s election in Maine was the first time that ranked-choice voting has ever been used in a statewide election in the U.S., and right now it looks like it will be needed: As of Thursday morning (Nov. 8) the race in the 2nd Congressional District is too close to call and nobody has reached the 50% mark, which means votes from two minor candidates will be redistributed.

From the Portland Press-Herald, early Wednesday:

It appears likely that ranked-choice voting, being used for the first time in a congressional election, will determine whether Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin returns for a third term or cedes his 2nd District seat to Democrat Jared Golden of Lewiston.

After one of the most costly and closely watched campaigns in the country, results early Wednesday, with 67 percent of the precincts reporting, showed a dead heat between Golden and Poliquin with 46 percent each. About 8 percent of the overall vote went to the two independents in the race.

Under the new voting system adopted by Mainers in two statewide ballot questions, the people who voted for independents Tiffany Bond and Will Hoar will have their the second- and third-place choices redistributed to either Poliquin or Golden and the totals will be retabulated until one of the candidates receives at least 50 percent of the vote.

Earlier, the Press-Herald reported that the incumbent might challenge ranked-choice voting results if he loses.

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