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‘Stunning’: Historic victory for a Democrat in Maine after federal judge rejects GOP lawsuit

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Maine’s 2nd congressional district made history Thursday afternoon as it named Jared Golden the winner of his race for incumbent Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s (R-Maine) seat, after the state used ranked-choice voting for the first time in a national race to determine the winner.

Shortly after a federal judge rejected Poliquin’s lawsuit in which he attempted to halt the ranked-choice voting (RCV) process, election officials forged ahead in their tabulation of ballots and found that Golden won 50.53 percent of the vote, compared to Poliquin’s 49.47 percent.

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https://twitter.com/LWVME/status/1063124500873703425

“The first time ranked-choice voting is used in the state of Maine [and] we’ll have an instance where it will have made a difference—this is stunning,” Larry Diamond, a political scientist at Stanford University, told the Portland Phoenix ahead of the vote tabulation. “Either way it’s going to validate the logic of it, and it’s going to make for fairer elections.”

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Maine voters reaffirmed their support for RCV last June—after a previous vote in favor of the system was blocked by the legislature—ensuring that voters in the 2nd district could rank the four candidates for Poliquin’s seat in order from their favorite to least favorite when they went to the polls on Election Day.

One of the candidates would have had to gather more than 50 percent of the first-choice voters in order for the election to be called. When Poliquin won only 46 percent of the vote and Golden won 45.9 percent, election officials prepared to distribute two independent candidates’ supporters’ second and third choices until either the Democrat or Republican gained a majority.

Maine’s plan to become the first state to use RCV for a federal election was briefly threatened when Poliquin filed his lawsuit, claiming that it was unconstitutional to allow voters to rank their choices in order to ensure they are represented by a lawmaker with the majority of support.

“There is a certain degree of irony because the remedy Plaintiffs seek could deprive more than 20,000 voters of what they understood to be a right to be counted with respect to the contest between Representative Poliquin and Mr. Golden,” wrote Judge Lance Walker in his opinion (pdf). “At oral argument, Plaintiffs emphasized that the First Amendment entitles them to express their support for their candidate. They feel that Maine is giving other voters disproportionate expression…The RCV Act actually encourages First Amendment expression, without discriminating against any given voter.”

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“I am not persuaded that the United States Constitution compels the Court to interfere with this most sacred expression of democratic will,” the judge added.

By Julia Conley, Common Dreams

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Mass rallies, crazy decisions, grandiose posturing: This is what living in a dictatorship feels like

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Another week of shaking our heads and wondering how much longer we can survive him. Yet again, Donald Trump overwhelmed practically everything with the force of his obscene personality, running his mouth and his thumbs even while he was failing to run the country in any sort of conventional sense. He doesn’t actually do anything, but he dominates everything. Living in America today is like being trapped in a room with him — no doors, no windows, no exits, only Trump and the sound of Trump and the hideous image of Trump, all day, every day, for day after day after day.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump officials furious with NRA over ‘dick move’ leak of LaPierre phone call: report

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President Donald Trump originally appeared interested in strengthening federal background check laws in the wake of deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. Then, after a phone conversation with National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre on Tuesday, Trump reportedly assured him that background checks were "off the table" and pivoted to discussing anything but guns.

It was a depressingly familiar moment for Trump, who also previously headfaked toward some minor gun control reforms after the Parkland school shooting and quickly walked them back.

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Former Dem Senator hilariously nails perfect impression of ‘pouting’ Trump at G7 because nobody ‘likes him’ there

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During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's Real Time, former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) made fun of Donald Trump before he arrived at the G7 summit in France,m saying he will pout his way through the weekend because the other world leaders loathe him.

With host Bill Maher asking how the Trump will conduct himself, Heitkamp immediately went into a very recognizable arms-crossed pout, which caused the audience to burst into laughter.

After the two posed as Trump and Geerman leader Angela Merkel from the last get together, Heitkamp had a few things to say about the president.

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