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Counting is on in historic Maine congressional race

November 9, 2018
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Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, seeking re-election in the 2nd Congressional District, greets supporters at his election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, in Bangor, Maine. (Gabor Degre/The Bangor Daily News via AP)

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The counting has started in the first congressional race in American history to be decided by a voting method that allows second choices.

Maine’s the first state in the country to use ranked-choice voting to determine a seat in the U.S. House, and the tallying started Friday in Augusta.

The race between Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Democratic state Rep. Jared Golden is close, with Poliquin holding an edge of about 1,900 votes with 19 precincts still to report Friday morning. That means it’s unlikely either candidate will clear the 50 percent hurdle needed to win the seat without counting the ranked ballots.

State officials say they think they’ll be able to announce a winner sometime next week. They plan to work through part of the holiday weekend on the count.

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