Bangor’s Voter Turnout Creates Wait at the Polls 

A steady stream of voters made their way to polls at the Bangor Civic Center, Tuesday.City Clerk, Lisa Goodwin, said they were predicting about 8,000-10,000 voters, based on the number of absentee ballot requests they received, which totaled approximately 7,000, at last count.Compared to the 2008 Presidential election, Bangor’s numbers, as well as the state’s, were down. During that election, Goodwin said about 8,500 absentee ballots were requested in the city. Statewide, according to the Secretary of State’s Office, almost 250,000 absentee ballots were requested, whereas this year the number is at about 196,000.Despite the decrease, voting officials were still expecting a strong turnout based on what is on the ballot for Mainers this year, including the U.S. Senate race and Question 1, the same-sex marriage referendum.Sen. Susan Collins (R) cast her vote at the Civic Center just before noon Tuesday. She said she hopes the election’s winner is willing to work to break through the divisive culture of Washington, which Sen. Snowe cited as one of her reasons for leaving the seat. “I hope that whoever becomes Maine’s next senator will be committed to working the way Olympia Snowe and I always have, and that is building coalitions and trying to actually solve problems, rather than score political points,” said Collins.While voters trickled in and out of the polling center throughout much of the afternoon, the crowds really started pouring in after 5:00 p.m. A line for unregistered voters wrapped around the center’s front lobby for hours, as volunteers tirelessly worked to make sure everyone had the chance to cast their vote.