Gov. Paul LePage signed off on the state’s first-in-the-nation ranked choice election to Congress on Friday, but in doing so he also left a note of protest against the voter-approved election law that propelled state Rep. Jared Golden to a victory over incumbent 2nd District U.S. Congressman Bruce Poliquin.

LePage initialed Democrat Golden’s certificate but also penned “stolen election” beside it before sharing a photo of the certificate on Twitter with an additional missive.

“I’ve signed off on the CD2 election result as it’s no longer in federal court. Ranked Choice Voting didn’t result in a true majority as promised-simply a plurality measured differently. It didn’t keep big money out of politics & didn’t result in a more civil election #mepolitics,” LePage’s official account tweeted.

Golden was declared the election’s winner over Poliquin after he captured 50.5 percent of the vote to Poliquin’s 49.5 percent during a second round of ballot tabulation, under the state’s ranked choice law, which was twice endorsed by voters during statewide ballot questions.

Golden, a Marine Corps veteran and former assistant majority leader in the Maine House of Representatives, became the first challenger to defeat an incumbent in the state’s rural and sprawling 2nd District in a century.

The final vote tally was 139,231 votes for Golden versus 136,326 votes for Poliquin, a margin of 2,905 votes.


Poliquin mounted a legal challenge in the federal courts, but dropped the effort on Christmas Eve.

Golden is expected to be sworn in with the other members of the incoming Congress on Jan. 3.

LePage’s comments on ranked-choice voting were simply “wrong” and another attempt to undermine the will of the voters, Golden said in an email to the Press Herald on Friday.

“Maine people are tired of this kind of poor leadership – which is why they voted for change in November,” Golden said.

Scott Thistle can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

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