Counting to begin in historic Maine congressional race

By  | 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The counting is about to begin in the first congressional race in American history to be decided by a voting method that allows second choices.

Maine is the first state in the country to use ranked-choice voting to determine a seat in the U.S. House, and the tallying will start Friday in Augusta.

The race between Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Democratic state Rep. Jared Golden is close, with Poliquin holding an edge of about 1,900 votes with about 20 precincts still to report on Thursday. That means it's unlikely either candidate will clear the 50 percent hurdle needed to win the seat without counting the ranked ballots.

Couriers spent Thursday gathering ballots around Maine. State officials say they think they'll be able to announce a winner sometime next week.