Maine election officials near final tally in US House race

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine election officials are preparing for final tabulations in the first congressional election to be decided by ranked balloting even as they await a federal judge’s ruling on a request to halt the tallies.

The secretary of state declined a request by Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin to stop the election process without a court order. Final tabulations and an announcement of the winner are expected around noon Thursday.

A federal judge, meanwhile, said he aims to weigh in Thursday on Poliquin’s lawsuit seeking to overturn Maine’s new voting system.

Poliquin is in a tight race with Democrat Jared Golden.

Both candidates collected about 46 percent of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District votes in the first round of counting. The ranked system requires additional voting rounds until someone receives a majority.

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