The Latest: US Rep.-elect Golden praises election ruling

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Latest on a judge’s decision to toss a lawsuit challenging the results of America’s first ranked congressional race (all times local):

11:00 a.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep.-elect Jared Golden and backers of a candidate-ranking method of voting say they are vindicated by a federal judge’s ruling that tossed a legal challenge to the his election.

Golden defeated Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin in the first congressional election in U.S. history to use the candidate-ranking system. Golden said Thursday that Judge Lance Walker’s “decision is clear,” and he hopes Poliquin will work with him on a smooth transition for the 2nd Congressional District.

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The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting says Walker’s ruling is important because it makes clear the voting system doesn’t violate the U.S. Constitution, as Poliquin alleged. Voters approved the new method in 2016.

Committee attorney James Monteleone says Walker’s opinion “will stand up to any appeal.”

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10 a.m.

A federal judge is tossing a lawsuit by a Republican incumbent congressman from Maine who lost the nation’s first congressional election held by a candidate-ranking system.

Democrat Jared Golden defeated U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin after voters from two trailing candidates were eliminated and reassigned to the remaining field.

Poliquin contends the system was unconstitutional.

But Judge Lance Walker, a recent Trump administration appointee, rejected Poliquin’s requests that the courts declare him the winner or order a new election for the 2nd Congressional District.

Poliquin’s lawyer had argued the candidate-ranking system requires voters to “guess” which candidates would survive until the second, runoff-style round of tabulations. Walker heard arguments about the case last week at U.S. District Court in Bangor.

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