June 18, 2018
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Live blog: Election Day in Maine

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
A man ambles to the polls in Portland on Tuesday.
Bangor Daily News
Updated:

Maine voters make history today by using a ranked-choice ballot system in primaries for governor, the Legislature and the 2nd Congressional District. Follow developments throughout the day here.


Christopher Burns
June 13, 201812:33 am


Christopher Burns
June 13, 201812:08 am


Christopher Burns
June 13, 201812:06 am


Christopher Burns
June 13, 201812:03 am


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:41 pm

Clerks in Bangor report that Democrats backed Janet Mills in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and Republicans backed Shawn Moody.
Democrats in Bangor also went for Lucas St. Clair in the 2nd District primary. Voters approved Question 1 2,614-2,000.
Bangor voters also overwhelmingly approved the school budget 3,461-1,058.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:33 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:22 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:18 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:14 pm

Waterville Mayor Nick Isgro on Tuesday survived a recall effort launched after he tweeted “Eat it, Hogg” to a survivor of a Florida school shooting, the BDN’s Michael Shepherd reports.

Read the full story here:
Waterville mayor survives recall effort


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:12 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201811:12 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:55 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:51 pm


Darren Fishell
June 12, 201810:37 pm

Republican Mary Mayhew lost her hometown of China, but Moody did not clear 50 percent of the vote there:
Fredette: 28 (6.8%)
Mason: 81 (19.8%)
Mayhew: 116 (28.4%)
Moody: 183 (44.8%)


Darren Fishell
June 12, 201810:31 pm

Bangor turnout numbers from the primaries for governor:

Bangor, Democratic primary: 31.2 percent.

Bangor, Republican primary: 24.7 percent.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:27 pm

So far, unofficial results show at least two towns — Whitneyville and North Haven — voters in the Republican primary backed Max Linn over Eric Brakey. Linn was previously disqualified from the race.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:23 pm

Results from Winthrop show voters backed Question 1 788-635. Democratic voters backed Janet Mills in the gubernatorial primary, and Republicans backed Shawn Moody.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:18 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:16 pm

Results from Newburgh show Republicans have backed Shawn Moody in the gubernatorial primary, and Democrats Janet Mills. Voters there also rejected Question 1 177-156.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 201810:12 pm

Here are the results for Bangor so far. Clerks are still counting ballots, and we will update these numbers as the night goes on.


Christopher Cousins
June 12, 201810:11 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20189:11 pm

From the BDN’s Jake Bleiberg: At the Urban Farm Fermentory in Portland, the campaign manager for the group supporting ranked-choice voting was cautiously optimistic as votes began to come in Tuesday. Kyle Bailey, of Yes On 1, said he thinks that what appears to be a relatively high primary voter turnout will buoy the ballot question about whether ranked-choice voting will be used in future elections. Bailey credited the system of voting with driving turnout, saying that when you give people more say over an election they’re more likely to vote. But he expressed frustration about the long political and legal battle over a form of voting that Mainers approved at the ballot in 2016. The latest challenge appears to be a ballot question that has confused some voters. Leaving the polls, some said that the wording of Question 1 left them uncertain about which answer matched their views of the issue. “I think the opponents of ranked-choice voting have gone to great lengths to oppose Maine’s first ranked-choice voting election,” Bailey said when asked about the question wording.


Lindsay Putnam
June 12, 20189:06 pm


Christopher Cousins
June 12, 20189:05 pm

Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reported Tuesday evening that he suspects statewide turnout in the primary election will land somewhere between 20 and 30 percent, which is about average for a Maine primary. He said several towns have reported a shortage of ballots, which he said could be due to local questions in certain municipalities. As for how to interpret results being reported tonight, Dunlap urged caution, especially in ranked-choice voting races. The tallying in those races begins on Friday. 

“It will take us a few days to get everything processed,” Dunlap said. “There’s a whole public process of unsealing and opening ballot boxes which will take longer than computing the votes. It’ll be like setting up dominoes. Flip one and then they all fall.”


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20188:59 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20188:59 pm

Kyle Bailey, campaign manager for the Yes on One campaign for ranked choice voting, said he was feeling optimistic just after the polls closed on Tuesday night in Portland. (Photo by BDN photographer Troy R. Bennett)
Kyle_Bailey.jpg


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20188:58 pm

Results are in from Merrill. Voters rejected Question 1 19-18. Republicans backed Shawn Moody, and Democrats backed Adam Cote in the gubernatorial primaries.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20188:57 pm

Results are in from Otis. Voters there rejected Question 1 101-52. Janet Mills leads the Democratic primary there with 28 votes, and Shawn Moody the Republican primary with 40 votes.
In Otis, Democratic voters backed Lucas St. Clair in the 2nd District primary, and Republicans backed Eric Brakey. Results show 15 voters still went for Max Linn, who was previously disqualified.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20188:34 pm

Results are in from Macwahoc Plantation, where voters rejected the people’s veto to restore ranked-choice voting 4-3.


Darren Fishell
June 12, 20188:33 pm

Through Election Day, the vast majority of spending on Question 1 — on the future of ranked-choice voting — came from supporters, led by the Chamberlain Project. They put in about $1.2 million.

More here, from Friday: http://bangordailynews.com/2018/06/08/politics/whos-paying-to-convince-mainers-that-ranked-choice-voting-suits-them/


Seth Koenig
June 12, 20188:24 pm


Robert Long
June 12, 20188:16 pm

Abigail Curtis continues to win election night Twitter:


Darren Fishell
June 12, 20188:16 pm

Take a look at the $386,000 in outside spending in the governor’s race, leading up to the primary.
Adam Cote was, by far, the top target, with $192,500 in late opposition spending from the group Maine Women Together, which also spent $77,000 to support Janet Mills.
Cote had $38,815 in late support, mostly from the PAC Maine Deserves Better, formed on the Friday before the election.


Robert Long
June 12, 20188:10 pm

Seth Koenig
June 12, 20188:06 pm


Darren Fishell
June 12, 20188:05 pm

Get a look inside our ranked-choice forecasting machine from BDN Politics reporter Mike Shepherd and data scientist Jake Emerson.

BDN politics team explains election night polling, ranked-choice voting results


Robert Long
June 12, 20187:56 pm


Robert Long
June 12, 20187:46 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:45 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:44 pm


Robert Long
June 12, 20187:42 pm


Lindsay Putnam
June 12, 20187:39 pm

BDN politics reporter Michael Shepherd is answering your questions regarding today’s election. Check out this Facebook video, and add any questions you may have in the comments below the video. We’ll try to get back to you. 

There are 45 minutes until polls close in the Maine primaries. The BDN's Michael Shepherd and Jake Emerson are going to explain how we're using exit polling and voter data to evaluate tonight's ranked-choice elections.

Posted by The Bangor Daily News on Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:38 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:38 pm


Christopher Cousins
June 12, 20187:26 pm

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is a busy guy. You’d expect that, given that it’s primary election day, but his duties go beyond overseeing polling locations and votes. This evening — right now — Dunlap says he is narrating an outdoor concert at the Bangor Public Library. The Bangor Band is holding its season opener but you’d better rush if you want to hear. It ends around 8 p.m., when Dunlap said he’ll call the BDN to answer a few questions. About the election. 


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:23 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:21 pm

Election clerk Patti Gagne explains the ballots to a voter in Lewiston on Tuesday. Officials said turnout was slight. (Photo by BDN photographer Troy R. Bennett)


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:13 pm


Alex Acquisto
June 12, 20187:11 pm

Voters began steadily streaming into the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor just before 5 p.m. to vote.

Sharon Ayer, of Bangor, said she voted for Lucas St. Clair over Jared Golden and Craig Olson for the 2nd Congressional District primary. “I like how he faced a lot of opposition and changed a lot of minds,” she said, referring to St. Clair’s role in securing the Katahdin Woods and Waters monument.

Amanda Foran, 31, and her boyfriend, Matt Gonnerman, 29, recently moved to Bangor from Alabama and said Tuesday’s election was their first in Maine. Both described themselves as “very progressive,” and said they were planning to vote for St. Clair.

Gonnerman said he met St. Clair at an event and liked how personable he was.

“He has a good track record in the environment. That’s the kind of person we want representing us,” Foran added.

On ranked-choice voting, Bangor voters were split.

“On the face of it, it makes sense that you would want to give people a second option when their first isn’t viable, but I worry about the mechanics of it,” said Josh Kelley, a university professor who didn’t support it initially and wasn’t sure how he was going to vote inside the booth.

Ken Buckley, a registered Maine guide, disagrees. “I think it’s pretty simple: one candidate, one vote.”

But despite his opposition, Buckley admitted he used the opportunity to rank his Republican choices for governor: Mary Mayhew, first, and Shawn Moody, second.

“It’s there, I figured I might as well use it,” he said.  

Kathy Rice, a teacher in Bangor, worries too many choices might make it more difficult, especially for older voters.

“It’s very confusing. Sometimes too many choices is not a good thing.”


Christopher Cousins
June 12, 20187:11 pm

Turnout in Maine’s primaries are heavier than expected, in a few towns at least. Kristen Muszynski, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, said election workers in Islesboro, Poland and Harpswell reported that they were running low on ballots. Muszynski said that for one location, Islesboro, her office granted officials permission to photocopy additional ballots. Islesboro is the home community of Craig Olson, who is a candidate in the Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District. That could explain the shortage. 


Jake Bleiberg
June 12, 20187:06 pm

Some Maine Democrats feel that ranked-choice voting has let them put their policy preferences ahead of pragmatic politics.

Two Portland voters told me that they’d ranked Betsy Sweet as their first choice for the Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Janet Mills as their second, despite feeling that Mills is best positioned to dispatch whomever the Republicans nominate.

Outside a polling station, Trevor Geiger, 35, said that knowing he’d have the opportunity the rank the candidates in order of preference led him to consider all of them more closely.

Without ranked-choice voting, Geiger said he would have voted for Mills. But with the chance to put her in second place he said he felt free to vote Sweet — the candidate who he feels best matches his own progressive politics.

“It’s more or less what I would have liked to have done with Bernie and Hillary,” Geiger said.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20187:04 pm

Tenzing Sage waits while his mother, Bonnie Paige, votes at the Lewiston Armory on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by BDN photographer Troy R. Bennett)
CD2A Tenzing Sage waits while his mother, Bonnie Paige, votes at the Lewiston Armory on Tuesday afternoon. Troy R. Bennett | BDN  1052.jpg


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20186:51 pm

Though on the other side of the globe, President Donald Trump figures to be a factor in Republican elections in a number of states holding primaries today, according to the Associated Press.

Read the full story here:

Trump looms large as 5 states hold primaries Tuesday


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20186:44 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20186:40 pm

Before the results come in tonight for the June primaries, here’s a look back at the first public ranked-choice voting poll of Maine’s 2018 primaries.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, found the front-runners for the Democratic and Republican primaries were Janet Mills and Shawn Moody, respectively.

Read the full story here:

Poll: Moody, Mills are front-runners in Maine’s unsettled June primaries


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20186:29 pm


Jake Bleiberg
June 12, 20186:24 pm

At a Portland polling station, several voters said they support ranked-choice voting but were confused by the wording of the ballot question that will determine whether the system will be used in the future.

Among those perplexed by Question 1 was Cumberland County Superior Court Justice Joyce Wheeler.

After casting a ballot at a polling station near the courthouse where she hears cases, Wheeler she had to read the question a couple of times before she was sure which answer matched her view of the issue.

“It’s a little awkward,” the active retired judge said of the question that will decide whether ranked-choice voting in used in the November congressional contests and, possibly, ever again.

Wheeler said that she voted to support using ranked-choice voting in the future.

She declined to discuss how she ranked candidates, but did offer a hint: “Adam Cote was my first law clerk,” she said.


Robert Long
June 12, 20186:23 pm


Robert Long
June 12, 20186:18 pm


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20186:18 pm

If you’re in Bangor and haven’t voted, be sure to make your way over to the Cross Insurance Center before polls close at 8 p.m.


Christopher Burns
June 12, 20186:17 pm


Lindsay Putnam
June 12, 20186:15 pm

The BDN’s Seth Koenig and Nick Sambides, Jr., report on election night at the Lewiston Armory.

Posted by The Bangor Daily News on Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Lindsay Putnam
June 12, 20185:57 pm

If you’re voting in the Democratic primary today, here’s a look at where the Democratic gubernatorial candidates stand on some of today’s most important issues: 

What matters to Democrats who want to be Maine’s next governor


Lindsay Putnam
June 12, 20185:55 pm

If you’re voting in the Republican primary today, here’s a roundup of where the Republican gubernatorial candidates stand on some of Maine’s key issues: 

Where Republicans who want to succeed LePage stand on key issues


Lindsay Putnam
June 12, 20185:50 pm

Haven’t voted yet? Still confused by ranked-choice voting? Catch up on everything you need to know with BDN’s ranked-choice voting primer: 

How to navigate ranked-choice voting in Maine


Robert Long
June 12, 20185:38 pm


Michael Shepherd
June 12, 20184:53 pm


Michael Shepherd
June 12, 20183:40 pm

Democrats seem to be using ranked-choice voting more than Republicans. The Bangor Daily News is doing exit polling today in the governor’s race. The results that we have in right now — mostly from this morning — show that Democrats that we’ve talked to are going far deeper into the ranked-choice process than the Republicans. 


This is worth some caveats, including that these results are early and aren’t a reflection of turnout. Democrats are likely more enthusiastic about ranked-choice voting and telling us about it than Republicans are. But it’s an informative window into the process so far.


Michael Shepherd
June 12, 20183:29 pm


Robert Long
June 12, 20181:30 pm

In non-election Maine government news, Gov. Paul LePage announced Tuesday that George Gervais, commissioner of economic and community development, will leave that job on June 22. Earlier this year, LePage nominated Gervais to head the Maine Housing Authority, but after a bruising nomination hearing before a legislative committee, the Senate voted against the nomination. Gervais has served as DECD commissioner since 2011.


Robert Long
June 12, 20181:12 pm


Michael Shepherd
June 12, 201812:20 pm

Gov. Paul LePage threatened to not certify election results, but the secretary of state says it doesn’t matter. The Republican governor made that threat in an interview with WCSH earlier today, blaming a “horrific” ranked-choice voting system. 

Maine law requires the secretary of state to tabulate results and get them to the governor within 20 days of an election. The governor “shall” certify them within a reasonable time period, but Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, a Democrat, said this only applies to state general elections and not primaries.

“He can bluster all he wants, but he can’t change the results,” Dunlap said.

The governor also got history wrong by saying that Maine had ranked-choice voting in the 1800s. The Legislature once had the power to pick a governor if no candidate won a majority, which resulted in an 1880 insurrection that was quelled by Civil War hero and former Gov. Joshua Chamberlain. 

After that, Maine allowed plurality governors. That produced a constitutional hurdle for ranked-choice voting in 2016.


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