AUGUSTA, Maine — A $50 million bond question targeted at equipment upgrades for Maine’s technology sector looked to be headed for passage after the Tuesday statewide election, according to unofficial results from cities and an early tally from the Maine secretary of state.
The question was uncontroversial and widely expected to pass. It would earmark $45 million to replenish a fund for infrastructure, equipment and technology upgrades in seven targeted sectors, including aquaculture, forestry, agriculture and composite materials.
Unofficial results show that the question, which was the only item on Tuesday’s state ballot, passed by wide margins in Maine’s largest cities. Portland, Lewiston and Bangor approved the bond with a combined 78 percent of votes.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Kristen Muszynski, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, wrote that her office received about 85,000 ballots and the yes side led by 20,000 votes, calling them “very preliminary and unofficial results based on what the municipalities have provided to date.”
Michael Saxl, spokesman for the bond campaign, said early Wednesday that the campaign is “cautiously optimistic” about the outcome, based on early results from select precincts.
Unlike with most statewide elections, the Bangor Daily News and the Associated Press didn’t collect results from each Maine municipality for the June 2017 election. That’s why the result was in at least partial doubt on Wednesday.
Muszynski wrote that towns have three days to deliver initial results to Dunlap’s office and that the secretary of state typically does not provide results the next day, but that this election posed a special circumstance with just one item on the state ballot.
Dunlap’s office projected between 10 percent and 15 percent turnout for the election, but he said on Wednesday that turnout looked to be far lower.