Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says that based on what he has seen and heard from local election officials, turnout could reach 30 percent this Election Day.
He says local referendums and elections in Portland, Lewiston and Bangor, as well as heavy TV advertising on Questions 1 and 2, will drive over 200,000 Mainers to the polls.
“Taking all that together you sort of have a formula for a higher turnout than what you would normally expect in a typical off-year election,” Dunlap says. “You have your population centers like Portland with its referendum on rent control and hotly contested city council races. The referendum in Lewiston-Auburn about the merger of the two cities, again contested races for city council in Bangor.”
Dunlap says some areas will be well below that 30 percent estimate, and others above. He says some Mainers are still recovering from last week’s wind storm and are not thinking about elections.
“We just had a big weather event. There are still a few people out there without power, people lost everything in their freezers, so people are properly focused on those things, but there is also an election,” he says.