GOP lawmaker to drop challenge to Maine's new voting system

Rep. Bruce Poliquin (R-Maine) is dropping his legal challenge to the constitutionality of Maine's ranked-choice voting system, saying it was time "to close this confusing and unfair chapter of voting history."

Poliquin, who lost his reelection bid against Democratic challenger Jared Golden in Maine's 2nd Congressional District, maintained in a statement that ranked-choice voting is illegal.

The congressman had pursued a legal challenge to the state's ranked-choice voting system after his loss in the first congressional race determined by the process.

But on Monday, Poliquin said that he believes it's in "the best interest of my constituents" to not move forward with further legal proceedings.

“Despite winning the largest number of votes on Election Day, I believe it’s in the best interest of my constituents and all Maine citizens to close this confusing and unfair chapter of voting history by ending any further legal proceedings," he said in a statement posted to Twitter.

In ranked-choice voting, voters submit a ballot that ranks candidates in order of preference.

If no candidates initially receive 50 percent of the vote, then the candidate with the fewest first-place votes is eliminated and those votes are reallocated to the voters' second choices. 

Golden ended up winning the House seat because of the second- and third-place votes he received.

After Poliquin wasn't declared the winner, he filed a lawsuit asking U.S. District Judge Lance Walker to either name him the winner or order another election for the district.

Walker ultimately tossed out that lawsuit, and Poliquin said he would appeal that decision. 

But earlier this month Poliquin dropped his request for a recount, effectively ending his challenge to the race.

In his statement on Monday, Poliquin wished Golden well.

"Although we may disagree on the issues, I wish Jared Golden personally the best during the coming term," he said.