And for continuing to tabulate the ranked choice results.
Just before noon on Tuesday, the Maine Secretary of State informed Maineiacs that five of Maine’s 16 counties remained to be tabulated.
Meanwhile, the state’s largest newspaper, The Portland Press Herald, reported on Poliquin’s attempt with other members of the Maine GOP to halt the ranked choice voting process. In a news conference Tuesday, Poliquin stated:
“The people of the 2nd District have put their trust in me to do what’s right. Not addressing this important constitutional issue would be completely irresponsible. I’ll tell you this would be a heck of a lot easier on me if I just walked away from this vote counting mess. But what kind of message would that send to our kids? Absolutely the wrong message.”
In his news conference, Poliquin said Dunlap should cease the count and tabulation of results to “preserve the status quo.” Dunlap replied:
“Just like we don’t act on media reports, we also don’t act on ex parte requests. If a judge tells us to stop, we’ll stop . . . I think we have to obey the law, and the law says that we proceed.”
In response, a spokesperson for Poliquin’s primary opponent, Democrat Jared Golden, stated:
“Poliquin could have joined his Party’s challenge to this law before this court last spring, or he could have moved expeditiously to file his own challenge on the same grounds he now raises when his party’s challenge was not successful. Instead, he waited until after all of the ballots in the election had been cast, and now seeks to change the rules of that election, severely prejudicing the voters who relied upon RCV in casting their ballots, and the candidates who they supported, whether as their first or second choices.”
Poliquin, a two-term Republican congressman, and Golden, a Marine Corps veteran and state lawmaker, each have roughly 46 percent of the vote. Dunlap, himself a Republican, added:
“I think it’s intended to be a distraction, it’s intended to cast doubt on this process. And I think it’s irresponsible and a disservice to the people of Maine.”