Voter Turnout Surpasses Predictions
It’s an off-year election in Maine, but that didn’t stop voters in Bangor from showing up at the polls.Bangor’s city clerk, Patti Dubois, said she anticipated about 3,000 voters to hit the polls, but by late afternoon 4,000 votes had been cast in person. The city had already received about 2,000 absentee votes.There was no backup to get in, but most people just couldn’t wait to cast their vote.”Because you have to. You can’t live anywhere without voting,” said Judy Brown.”The only power that we have left. It’s the power of voting,” added Sherwood Craig.The absence of a major election was offset by a host of local and state issues that Secretary of State Charles Summers predicted would draw crowds.”Certainly here in Penobscot County on the table games issue, that’s something that will have a large effect, there’s a council race going on here and from what I understand a contested council race,” said Summers.But voters seemed just as concerned with a new state law banning same day voter registration.”I work two jobs. I don’t always have a chance to get out beforehand,” said Amanda Sohns.On the ballot was a chance for the public to decide the issue. “I think that was something that was taken away from us,” said Brown.Summers, who supported the bill, said regardless of the outcome, the state needs to review its voting policy. He said, “Since 1820, we have essentially run elections the same and I think we need to update our system.”Summers headed to the polls in Scarborough after his visit to Bangor.