More Mainers Voted on 4 Referendums Than Presidential Race

Nov 18, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine - Mainers may be more passionate about guns, marijuana and the minimum wage than about the nation's next leader.

Unofficial tallies from the Nov. 8 election indicate more Mainers voted on four referendum proposals than for president. Those referendums legalized recreational marijuana, raised the minimum wage and increased taxes on high-income Mainers to boost education funding.

The trend was most dramatic in the failed proposal to expand background checks for gun purchases.

All told, 754,857 votes were cast for the gun control measure. That's nearly 2 percent more than the 741,550 tallies in the presidential race. Not included in those numbers are write-ins.

Observers say two things were likely in play: Referendums tend to draw voters to polls, and it's possible voters weren't excited about either of the presidential choices.