Secretary of State says statewide voter turnout appears to be steady so far
State elections officials say that voting has largely gone smoothly so far across the state, even as voters work through eight different referendum questions on the ballot.
Secretary of State Shenna Bellows says that voter turnout appears to be steady and uninterrupted so far.
Bellows did note that the eight referendum questions on the ballot helped to cause some long lines in Auburn, but new booths were added to the voting site to speed up the process.
"So in Auburn, they set up two more quad setups —that's eight more available booths for people to fill out their ballot," Bellows said.
Many voters seem motivated by Question 3, which would create a consumer-owned electric utility.
Lauren Valle, voting in Belfast, said she tends to vote in every election, but was especially interested in the question about public power.
"I think Question 3 is really critical, and I would love to see a consumer-owned utility happen in the state of Maine, and for CMP to not be in control of our power. So that got me off the couch. I would be here anyway, but I was excited to choose yes on Question 3," Valle said.
Some voters are finding the wording on the ballot confusing, though. Dave Nicholas, voting in Searsport, was among them. Nicholas said he voted no on Question 3.
"You had to really pay attention to the way those referendums were worded, so that you weren't doing the opposite of what you thought you were doing," Nicholas said. "I thought that the change of the big power to the state or other than what we had was something that ought to be voted on."
Bellows emphasized that voting is "open book" —meaning that voters are free to use their phone to look up information on the eight ballot questions and remind themselves how they want to vote.
Polls will close tonight at 8 p.m.