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Ranked choice voting tabulation to begin for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race

The state's primary election for Congressional District 2 will now move to ranked-choice tabulation.
The state's primary election for Congressional District 2 will now move to ranked-choice tabulation.(Emily Tadlock)
Published: Jul. 15, 2020 at 3:38 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - With both Adrienne Bennett and Eric Brakey conceding to Dale Crafts in the Second District Congressional race, the ranked choice voting process has been called into question even though Crafts did not make it to the 50% threshold to be declared the outright winner.

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Secretary of State Matt Dunlap tells TV5 that after speaking with legal counsel, those concessions will not stop a ranked choice count.

“There is no provision in the law that if the other candidates wave a white flag that we go by that election night result. So, we have to follow the law, we have to apply the law. We checked with the attorney general’s office, and they said that we had the right interpretation. They agreed with us,” he says.

Dunlap says ballot collection will begin Thursday throughout Congressional District 2 and the processing of the ballot materials is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Friday, July 17th at the centralized tabulation site in the Burton R. Cross State Office Building, Rooms 103 A and B.

Tabulation will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will include Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., to continue during regular business hours until completion of the tabulation process. This is a public proceeding and press are welcome as space allows, so long as they remain within the public area and social distancing can be maintained.

Secretary of State Department staff members must log, unlock and unseal each ballot box from hand count towns to scan the ballots using a high-speed tabulator; and log, unseal and upload all the memory devices from tabulator towns and cities before loading all the votes into the results program and then certifying the results to ensure accuracy.

In addition to the Second Congressional District primary race, legislative races with more than two candidates may also go into RCV rounds based on the election results, and the ballot collection process will follow the same procedure. Municipal clerks have two days post-election to submit their results to the State Elections Division, and these legislative races will be identified by Friday.

The final, official results of the RCV tabulation(s) will be released as soon as they are available, likely by Friday, July 24. Dates are subject to change and the public will be updated during the process.

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