Commentary

Jared Golden Did Not Win 50 Percent of the Vote

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Jared Golden did not receive more than 50 percent of the vote after the ranked choice vote tabulation. To say he did is a lie, and one the Secretary of State’s office seems all too happy to tell.

I have not seen a final tally of voter participation in the second district in the “first round,” but we do know that the number is at least 284,455 people. Both the Portland Press Herald and the New York Times have reported that number, and both indicate that such a number represents 95 percent of the total precincts reporting. That means the number is likely higher. In the numbers I have collected by combining town by town data from multiple media outlets, the total is 286,462 ballots cast, and that is without the data from more than a dozen townships.

No matter what the actual number is in that first round, it is more than the number I have at 286,462.

(UPDATE: The Secretary of State has published their numbers, and the actual total votes cast 289,952, of which 283,643 apparently were for one of the four main candidates)

At least that many people showed up on election day, and wanted to register a vote for Maine’s Second District. Go back and read that sentence again, and make sure you let it sink in before you read further. More than 286,462 people walked into a voting booth on election day, and wanted to vote in that specific race.

After the multi-round count, with recalculations from both Bond and Hoar figured in, Jared Golden now stands at 139,231 votes.

That means, if more than 286,462 voters showed up to vote in that race on election day, Golden actually got 48.60% of those voters, even after he received the second choice votes from Bond and Hoar.

The reality is, there are more — likely many more — votes than the 286,462 out there, so Golden’s total is probably closer to 48% than anything.

(UPDATE: With the Secretary of State’s own numbers published, Golden received 48.02 percent of the 289,952 ballots cast, or if you want to be generous, 49.09 percent of the 283,643 ballots that were correctly filled out for one of the four candidates. Either way, not 50 percent.)

In other words, he did no even get 50 percent, which was (supposedly) the entire point of the Ranked Choice Voting experiment to begin with.

But the Secretary of State is telling you that Golden won 50.5 percent of the vote.

The only way that is true is if you do not count the 10,000 or so people who showed up to vote for Bond and Hoar, and did not rank a second choice. Golden got 50.5% of the people remaining, after those people are put aside.

But those people showed up to vote. They wished to register a choice.

You have to acknowledge that those people came out to vote. By dropping them off the second round and not even acknowledging that they even showed up in the second round or later, you are essentially deleting their participation in the election.

Let me reiterate this.

If you don’t count those voters for the two lower finishers who didn’t rank a second choice as having participated, and they didn’t have a second choice, than it is as though they never showed up to vote and their participation is wholly removed from impacting the ultimate decision.

So let’s just be clear here: Ranked Choice Voting is a complete and total failure.

It claimed to end negative campaigning, and this was the most negative campaign in Maine political history.

It claimed to give voters more voice, and this election specifically erased the very participation of thousands of voters.

It claimed to produce non-plurality “majority” winners, and it hasn’t even done that.

Be honest, this proposal is nothing more than a way for the Left to thwart the will of the voters, and overturn the winners of elections. They view it as a way to stop right-leaning candidates from winning elections, and wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what happened.

It is a pathetic joke, a complete failure, and a disgusting fraud.

About Matthew Gagnon

Matthew Gagnon, of Yarmouth, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. Prior to his tenure at MHPC, Matt spent eight years working in national politics in Washington, D.C., most recently as a senior strategist for the Republican Governors Association. A Hampden native, Matt is a nationally recognized political strategist and communicator.

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