With over 95% of votes counted and a commanding lead, Democratic Rep. Jared Golden declared victory and thanked supporters Thursday morning at his campaign headquarters in Lewiston. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows announced her office’s plans for the ranked choice voting tabulation that will take place Tuesday, Nov. 15.

“I am deeply honored that the people of Maine’s Second District have chosen me to represent them in Washington for another two-year term,” Golden said in his announcement. Although Bruce Poliquin may not be willing to concede, at this point the final result is undeniably clear. The few precincts that remain cannot meaningfully alter the position of this race.

“In an instant runoff against Bruce Poliquin, we are confident that our lead will hold or even extend by a comfortable margin,” he said.

The ranked choice voting tabulation is a public proceeding. The tabulation will take place at Suite 13, 45 Commerce Drive, Augusta (a Maine State Police-leased building).

According to an advisory from the Secretary of State’s Office, on Monday at 1 p.m., staff will begin some of the pre-tabulation work of uploading results from District 2 municipalities into the office’s database. Members of the press, representatives of the campaigns, and interested members of the public can enter the building at noon, to be set up for the part of the process that begins at 1 p.m.

On Tuesday, work will begin at 8:30 a.m., and public access will be available at 8 a.m. for setup.

The tabulation will also be livestreamed on the department’s Facebook page.

With three candidates for District 2 congressional representative, the Nov. 8 general election race was conducted by ranked-choice voting, which requires that the winner must receive more than 50% of the vote.

In the tabulation Tuesday, second-choice votes for Tiffany Bond, the initial third-place candidate, will be added to the first-choice votes for Golden and Poliquin to determine which candidate achieved more than 50% of votes cast in the final round.

Under Maine law, municipalities have through Friday, Nov. 11, to report results to the Secretary of State’s Office, though enough have done so already to make it clear that a ranked choice tabulation will be required, according to the office’s announcement.