Thursday, 06 December 2018 18:28

The ranked-choice recount begins for Congressional District 2 Featured

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AUGUSTA - In the midst of Bruce Poliquin's lawsuit against ranked-choice voting, the recount process for Congressional District 2 has begun. The hand count could to take up to four weeks.

It's been one month since election night, and the fight for the congressional seat in district two continues. The recount began Thursday morning, only this time, it'll take a little longer to find a result.

 

"You're talking about 300,000 ballots, every one being examined by hand, and that takes a little bit of time," said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap.

 

Everyone counting the ballots is a volunteer.

 

"They come from the campaigns themselves, which is something I think the public doesn't really realize," said Dunlap. "It's actually the campaigns that do the counting, so they see it for themselves and they see their own ballots."

 

Attorneys from both campaigns help oversee the process and settle any confusion regarding the ballots.

 

"The attorneys take a look as a counter raises a concern about a discrepancy in how the vote is cast, and then there's a set of rules and law court interpretations on how to resolve improperly or technically improperly cast ballots," said Bruce Poliquin's attorney Joshua Tardy.

 

Rep. Poliquin's lawsuit against ranked-choice voting continues during the recount, and lawyers for the incumbent Poliquin and the declared-winner Jared Golden agree the procedures are of equal importance.

 

"It goes back to the public trusting that the vote happened in a proper way and that the will of the voters is demonstrated on paper," said Jared Golden's attorney Ben Grant.

 

Secretary Dunlap says even though it's a ranked-choice vote recount, it shouldn't pose any problems.

 

"It's a little bit more, but it's no more difficult," said Dunlap.

 

The counting will continue during regular business hours, only taking a break during the week of Christmas.

Alex Bobbyn

Reporter
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Alex Bobbyn joined the ABC 7 and FOX 22 news team in July of 2018.

He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he studied broadcast journalism and economics. While at Penn State, Alex served as the general manager of the schools w...