Pine Tree Power referendum defeated

10:05 p.m.: A proposal to replace Maine’s two utilities with a publicly owned power company was soundly rejected Tuesday by Maine voters.

With 36% of the vote counted, support for Question 3, to buy the assets of Central Maine Power and Versant Power, was garnering about 29% of votes statewide. “No” votes accounted for 71% of the ballots.

The Associated Press called the race about 9:45 p.m.

Lucy Hochschartner, deputy campaign manager of the Pine Tree Power campaign, said she would wait for all the votes to be in before commenting. She said she was proud of the volunteers who helped what she described as a grassroots campaign.

“This was always about standing up for the people of Maine who are not being served by CMP and Versant,” she said.

Willy Ritch, the Portland consultant heading up the anti-takeover campaign, said voters “did their research.”


Lewiston mayor to be decided by runoff next month

9:58 p.m.: With no one receiving more than 50% of the vote Tuesday, Lewiston Mayor Carl Sheline and challenger Jon Connor will head to a mayoral runoff election next month.

In Lewiston, a runoff is held between the top two candidates if neither candidate receives a clear majority of 50% plus at least one vote. According to City Clerk Kathy Montejo, the runoff will be held Dec. 12.

Sheline, seeking a second term, faced a challenge from former state legislator Jon Connor, former city councilor Luke Jensen and newcomer Joshua Pietrowicz.

— Andrew Rice (Sun Journal)

Portland rent control question headed to defeat

9:45 p.m.: Portland voters appeared to be leaning toward defeating Question A, an ordinance change that would exempt anyone with an ownership interest in nine or fewer rental units in the city from the provisions of the city’s rent control ordinance.

With 11 of 12 precincts reporting, only 35%, or 5,210 of city voters, supported Question A, while 65%, or 9,542 voters, were opposed.


Maine Democratic Socialists of America, which opposed Question A, said passage of the amendment would have allowed landlords to raise rents for over 9,000 tenants previously protected by the rent control ordinance. They said the rent control waiver would also have allowed landlords evict tenants with shorter notice.

Tuesday’s rent control vote comes on the heels of a failed referendum in June that would have allowed landlords to reset rents with no limit whenever tenants left voluntarily. The current system limits landlords to 5% increases for a unit that is changing hands.

Mayoral candidates Pugh, Costa comment on returns

Portland mayoral candidate Dylan Pugh said Tuesday night of the election returns, “I’m glad to see we’ve had good turnout at the polls and I’ll be waiting on the final numbers.”

Fellow candidate Justin Costa said it was clear he would not win the election. “Obviously I’m disappointed personally, but really I remain concerned for the future of the city and the direction we’re going,” he said.

— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

Question 6 to restore tribal treaty obligations on track to pass

Supporters of Question 6, a state referendum that would restore historical tribal treaty obligations to printed versions of the Maine Constitution, claimed victory Tuesday night after early results showed Mainers “overwhelmingly support” for the change.


With about 5 percent of votes counted just before 9 p.m., support appeared strong for Questions 5 and 6 while opponents held early leads on Questions 7 and 8.

Candidates from several races gather at Bruno’s

9:47 p.m.: At Bruno’s more people steadily filtered in. Dions wife, daughter and grandkids were there to support him. Matt Buonopane who is running for City Council in District 5, and Bill Linnell, who is running for an at-large seat were also present at the party. At 9:30 early results showed Buonopane and Linnell losing to their opponents, Kate Sykes and April Fournier, respectively.

“I think each of us ran a good campaign and the people have spoken,” said Buonopane. He said he won’t concede until central polling numbers come in. The latest polls show Buonopane with 1,117 votes and Sykes with 1,643 votes.

“I’m not feeling good,” said Linnell, of the poll numbers. The latest poll showed Linnell with 4,782 votes and Fournier with 9,436 votes.

— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

Ban on foreign campaign spending passes

9:45 p.m.: Maine voters have passed a referendum proposal to ban foreign governments and affiliated organizations from spending money on state and local referendum campaigns.


Ballots were still being counted 9:30 p.m. when the race was called by the Associated Press. With 171 of the state’s 571 voting precincts reporting, 86% of those voters supported the proposal with 84,597 in favor and 13,434 opposed.

Proponents claimed victory shortly after the AP called the race.

“Today, voters have sent a strong message – our democracy is not for sale,” said Kaitlin LaCasse, Campaign Manager for Protect Maine Elections. “Maine voters launched this initiative because they were determined to protect our elections from foreign government interference and dark money special interest groups. Thousands of volunteers collected signatures, contacted their legislators, and asked their friends and neighbors to vote YES on Question 2 at the ballot box.”

Right to repair referendum passes

9:40 p.m.: With less than 25 % of returns counted, right-to-repair advocates can celebrate their win as the race was called a little after 9 p.m.

Proponents of a ballot question that would ensure small repair shops’ access to vehicle data were eagerly awaiting returns as polls closed Tuesday night. Associated Press called the race with 21% of the returns counted; support for Question 4 was 84% of the vote with the opposition garnering %16.

Surrounded by red, white and blue signs calling for passage of Question 4 at the Drummond Woodsum law office in Portland, several owners of small repair shops and auto parts stores were hoping public sentiment to protect small-business owners would drive passage of the referendum.


Early results in Portland mayor’s race show Dion ahead

9 p.m.: Early results from Tuesday’s mayoral election in Portland showed Mark Dion taking the lead with 34% of the vote.

It’s only the fourth time Portland voters have elected a mayor under the current charter.

Cheryl Leeman, center, points out some of the early results to Portland mayoral candidate Mark Dion, right, being projected at his election night party for at Bruno’s Restaurant & Tavern on Tuesday. Leeman, who is Dion’s campaign manager and a former Portland city councilor and mayor, said they are feeling very excited about the initial results. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

Candidates Pious Ali, Justin Costa, Mark Dion, Dylan Pugh and Andrew Zarro have spent the last seven months campaigning to lead the city. The five candidates put forth various proposals and ideas for how to handle the city’s encampment crisis and how to create more affordable housing.

As of 9 p.m., Dion was leading with 3,545 votes, followed by Zarro with 2,837 votes and Ali with 2,426. Costa and Pugh trailed far behind, with 811 and 430 votes, respectively. Half of the 12 precincts had reported totals.

Festive mood at Zarro watch party

The mood was festive at Woodford Food & Beverage, where mayoral candidate Andrew Zarro supporters gathered on election night after polling places closed.

Sitting in the restaurant’s booths and standing in groups, people ate sandwiches, drank beer and picked at hors devours.


A small group huddled around a projector, watching as election results came in, cheering when Zarro’s percentage of votes ticked up.

Rob Schatz met Zarro three years ago. Schatz was a regular at Little Woodfords, the coffee shop Zarro use to own and run on the corner of Congress and Franklin.

Portland Mayoral Candidate Andrew Zarro, center, watches results on a large screen with his husband and campaign manager TJ Zarro, right, at Woodfords Food and Beverage Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

“I think he’s a great candidate and I want to put my support behind him,” said Schatz.

Schatz said Zarro’s platform, especially wanting to tackle homelessness with affordable housing, resonates with him and that he would like to see queer representation at the mayoral level.

“It would be great to show Portland is an open and diverse community.”

Zarro said he feels optimistic.


“I feel wonderful,” he said “I’m surrounded by 100 people who are part of this journey we started 190 days ago.”

— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

Dion supporters gather to watch returns

8:58 p.m.: A crowd of about 50 supporters of Portland mayoral candidate Mark Dion gathered at Bruno’s Restaurant and Tavern in North Deering on Tuesday night. The crowd enjoyed pizza and sodas as they watched the election results come in on a big screen.

Dion said he felt good going into election night. “I was encouraged about how much positive feedback we got from voters, and because it seems like there’s been a big turnout at the polling sites I went to,” he said.

“I feel we did our work, we did what was expected, we had a good message and people understood and connected with it, the question is if that will be the majority view of how Portland chooses to move forward,” said Dion.

“As far as the early numbers go they’re encouraging, but a lot could change with the absentee ballots,” said Dion.


— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

Question 3 supporters gather at Arcadia

8:26 p.m.: The clatter of air hockey and pinball could be heard over the thump of the bass at Arcadia, Portland’s combination bar and arcade, where Pine Tree Power supporters gathered for a Yes On 3 watch party Tuesday night.

Just minutes after the polls closed, the atmosphere was energetic, with some supporters gathering at the bar, others clustered around the pinball and video game machines and a handful grabbing slices of pizza.

Emily Manter, of Portland, wasn’t involved in the campaign in any official capacity but said she has friends who worked on the campaign and wanted to show her support for a public-owned utility.

“I think that our electricity, which everybody needs… there shouldn’t be a corporate entity profiting off that,” she said.

Just before 9 p.m., Lucy Hochschartner, Pine Tree Power’s deputy campaign manager and spokesperson, sat downstairs at Arcadia, working beneath a screen broadcasting a game of Mario Kart and next to a man shooting hoops in a carnival-style basketball game.


With just under 6% of the votes counted, the campaign was behind, with about 73% voting against the effort to establish Pine Tree Power, a publicly owned electric utility.

Hochschartner said she would wait for all the votes to be in before making any predictions but said she was proud of all the volunteers who came out to help what she said was always a grassroots campaign.

“This was always about standing up for the people of Maine who are not being served by CMP and Versant,” she said.

— Hannah LaClaire (Press Herald)

Ballot counting begins in Portland

8:22 p.m.: In the city’s 11 polling places, ballot counting has begun.

In City Hall, City Clerk Ashley Rand and a team of employees have begun to organize absentee ballots. The city clerk staff are moving quickly. The energy is serious and hurried.


Almost 7,000 Portlanders requested absentee ballots. The city does not yet know how many of those ballots were returned.

The City Clerk’s office must confirm with individual polling places that those who voted absentee did not also vote in person. Once that is confirmed, they can scan the absentee ballots.

Because absentee votes cannot be counted until the city has confirmed absentee voters did not vote in person, they are often the last results to come in.

— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

Pious Ali’s supporters gather at Gateway Community Services

8:15 p.m.: About thirty people gathered at Gateway Community Services on Tuesday night. Tables draped in red and blue plastic displayed snacks, cakes and sodas as people trickled in. Friends, supporters, and campaign staff of Pious Ali chatted, embraced and snapped photos.

Mayoral candidate Pious Ali greets voters at Grace Baptist Church in North Deering in Portland on election night. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Ali arrived right at 8 p.m. after a day spent visiting polling places around the city, where Ali says he thanked voters for turning out.


Ali said he felt good going into election nigh, “But I will wait to hear what the people of portland say before I jump on the couch,”
he said.

Either way, he says he feels like. winner. “For someone like me, from where i’m coming from, to have my name on the ballot running for the mayor of the biggest city in Maine is a reflection of the city and how far we’ve come.” said Ali. “For me thats a win.”

— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

A sign points voters to the gym at Thornton Academy on Election Day Tuesday.

Polls in Maine have closed

8 p.m.: Polls across Maine have closed for voting. For results on the statewide referendums and local races, go to the Press Herald’s election results page.

‘I wanted someone new’

7:58 p.m.: Two minutes before polls close Shannon McCaffrey, 40, walked out of the Portland Expo Center. She said she voted for Dylan Pugh for mayor because he’s a political outsider.

“I should have tuned in more. I came tonight more for the referendums but I wanted someone new to politics,” she said.


— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

‘It’s my civic duty’

7:48 p.m.: Linda Basso, 74, left the Westbrook polls having voted ‘no’ on Question 3, which would create a publicly owned and controlled electric utility. It’s the question she is most concerned about. She doesn’t want the government taking over private electric utilities, specifically CMP, in a system that has worked well for her over the years.

“We’re fine, just the way we are,” Basso said.

Question 3 wasn’t the primary motivator for her to get out and vote, though.

“I’ve been voting since I was 18 years old,” Basso said. “It doesn’t matter what’s on the ballot, I’m going to go. It’s my civic duty.”

— Kay Neufeld (Press Herald)


Voters still trickling in

7:45 p.m.: At the Portland Expo Center, a handful of voters were still trickling in about 15 minutes before the polls closed.

Ashley Collins, 25, said she voted for Mark Dion for mayor. “I liked his stance on issues and how he wanted to change things, especially homelessness and the public and health safety issues,” she said.

Malcom Purington, 24, voted for Pious Ali for Portland mayor and didn’t rank any other candidates

“I’ve interviewed him a couple times, I really got along with him, and he came to my school in high school to talk quite a bit and he just seems like a great guy,” said Purington.

— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

Local seats are the draw in Winslow

7:41 p.m.: Voters in Winslow say the local races are what pushed them to vote Tuesday.


A voter who gave his name only as Kyle said he was compelled to vote in the off-year election by the town’s council races.

“I haven’t voted the last couple years, but I know that we need change in our council,” he said.

Winslow has three town council seats and one school board seat up for grabs this year.

This year’s election is the first in which Audra Fleury, Winslow’s town clerk, is overseeing in an administrative role. She said roughly 2,400 voters had returned their ballots as of 7:30 p.m., and that many of them were more inspired to vote by local races than statewide referendum questions.

“Our town council races for all three of the districts have brought in some people who normally would not have come to vote,” she said. “I think because there’s not any state or federal races, it’s more local stuff.”

— Dylan Tusinski (Morning Sentinel)


‘It’s a way to help make a change’

6:52 p.m.: Voting has always been encouraged in Lily Russell’s family. Going to vote at Woodfords Club in Portland was a no-brainer, said the 21-year-old.

“It’s a way to help make a change,” she said.

Russell said she hasn’t closely followed the mayoral race, but she believes the most important quality in a city leader is a willingness to fight for equal rights of all Portlanders. She cast her vote for Pious Ali.

“He has proven to be supportive of the immigrant community and making sure they’re adequately supported,” she said.

Norman Gonsalves, 48, also voted for Ali for mayor. Initially, a lot of the candidates looked similar to him on paper, but after doing further research, he said, he was swayed by Ali’s bold proposals for solving the housing crisis and the way in which he spoke about the city and the challenges it faces.

— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)


‘Very robust turnout’ at Woodfords Club

6:00 p.m.: A steady stream of people flowed in and out of Woodfords Club in Portland.

Between the polling place’s opening at 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. the turnout was consistently solid, said election warden Geri Rose.

After 4 p.m., as the regular workday ended, a surge of voters arrived. People waited in line for up to 15 minutes, said Rose.

As of 6:30 p.m., 1,526 voters had voted at Woodfords Club.

“There’s been a very robust turnout,” said Rose, who has been a Woodfords Club warden for three years.

The mayoral race and the future of Maine’s utility system were the issues many said they felt most passionate about.


“There’s been so much money put into it,” said Meredith Morgan, 41, referring to Central Maine Power’s campaign against creating a state-owned utility.

“I don’t have that level of influence, but I want to throw in my two cents,” said Morgan, who voted in favor of creating a state-owned utility.

“The state of Maine has some of the worst utility bills, and private ownership of utilities doesn’t really speak to me,” said Cameron Twombly, 31, who also voted in favor of a state-owned utility.

— Lana Cohen (Press Herald)

At Reiche school, ‘we’ve been pretty busy’ 

5:30 p.m.: There was a steady stream of voters filing into the gym at Reiche Community School in Portland.

Susan McMillan, election warden, said the polling place had a slow start, but since lunchtime more voters had been showing up.


“It’s good to see a strong turnout even in an odd year like this. We’ve been pretty busy,” said McMillan.

By 5:30 p.m., about 1,230 votes had been cast at the school.

— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

Steady flow of voters in Hallowell

4:57 p.m.: Voters streamed through the polling place at Hall-Dale Elementary School throughout the day.

Around 4:30 p.m., 850 of the city’s 2,337 voters from City Clerk Lisa Gilliam’s latest tally had cast ballots.

In the city elections, a contested race for mayor is pitting the incumbent George Lapointe against City Councilor Maureen Aucoin, and in the Ward 2 race, Hannah Berry is challenging longtime City Councilor Michael Frett.


Earlier in the day, one woman said she was supporting Aucoin’s mayoral bid, but she declined to give her name, as she and Lapointe are friends.

Just after dark, as the rain started to fall, Antonio Sirabella and his wife Liesl, bolted from the gym to the shelter of their vehicles.

On their way, they said the contested mayor’s race was of interest.

“They’re both wonderful,” Sirabella said, adding that the choice was hard.

— Jessica Lowell (Kennebec Journal)

Doubt in Augusta about publicly owned power

4:15 p.m.: In the Buker Center in Augusta, the referendum questions have drawn voters’ attention, even as they choose City Council and Board of Education candidates. Shortly before 4 p.m., 489 voters had passed through the gym at the former school.


One woman, who declined to give her name, said she votes in every election regardless, but the referendum questions, were of interest, particularly Question 3.

“The electric power question was a big one for me. I don’t think the state should take it over. I think that’s a big mistake,” she said. “I don’t like the fact that it’s owned by a foreign entity, but I don’t think the state should take it over, either.”

She said while she’s not a fan of the power company, she’s seen instances where things that are state-owned are not run as efficiently as things that are privately owned.

— Jessica Lowell (Kennebec Journal)

Mayoral election alongside state referendum bringing out voters in Waterville

2:57 p.m.: In addition to the slate of eight state referendum questions, Waterville voters on Tuesday will elect a new mayor, as well as several city councilors.

With both the municipal and state ballots drawing interest, City Clerk Patti Dubois expects about 2,000 of the city’s nearly 14,000 registered voters to cast their ballots today, in addition to roughly 1,200 who voted absentee. As of mid-day, those projections were on track, Dubois said.


“We had a similar situation a few years ago, when we had the CMP corridor on the ballot,” Dubois said. “I think it’s comparable.”

In the city’s mayoral race, City Councilor Michael J. Morris, a Democrat, is facing off against Matthew S. Boulerice, an unenrolled candidate on the city’s Planning Board.

— Jake Freudberg (Morning Sentinel)

Statewide eyes on the election

2:45 p.m.: As voters head to the polls, the Maine Emergency Management Agency is working with the Secretary of State’s Office to monitor election activity across Maine.

Vanessa Corson, MEMA public information officer, said core staff members are in the state’s Emergency Operations Center with representatives from the Secretary of State’s Office.

“We’re also communicating with the Department of Public Safety, Maine Information Analysis Center, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency,” she said via email.


CISA, a federal agency, is charged with reducing risk to the nation’s physical and digital infrastructure. On Election Day, it is helping state and local election officials keep election infrastructure secure, and through its Elections Operations Center is sharing real-time threat information.

— Jessica Lowell (Kennebec Journal)

Bethel voters say ballot was ‘difficult reading’

2:07 p.m.: Gould Academy history teacher Abigail Allen, 23, said she has voted in every election since she was 18. On Tuesday, she was at the American Legion on Vernon Street voting with fellow teachers Naomi Kramer and Jeff Lathrop.

Bethel Town Clerk Jessicca Grover, who is overseeing town voting for the first time, said the turnout has been steady since polls opened at 8 a.m. By 12:30 p.m., 418 voters had cast ballots, in addition to about 20 absentee ballots that had come in.

Grover said some voters had noted the wording of the questions on the ballot “was ‘difficult reading.'”

— Rose Lincoln (The Bethel Citizen)


Our Election 2023 results page is live

1:44 p.m. As votes are tallied later tonight, you’ll see real-time statewide and local results reported on our homepage and our Election 2023 results page.

Tallies will be supplied by the Associated Press as well as the editors of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel and Lewiston Sun Journal.

Polls close at 8 p.m. and results are expected to file in soon after.

South Portland voters say state referendums are big draw

1:09 p.m. Turnout at the American Legion Hall in South Portland was steady around lunchtime Tuesday, with a consistent stream of voters coming in to cast their ballots.

Just before noon, about 600 people had voted, said District 2 Warden Robert Schwartz. He said the American Legion is one of four polling places in South Portland.

“It’s not bad for this type of election,” Schwartz said of the turnout. “Obviously if there was a state election for governor or representatives it would draw more, but it’s been steady.”


Schwartz said eight state referendums as well as local city council races were attracting voters. “Probably the state referendums are getting a lot of people out,” he said.

Jean Bingham, 65, said she came to cast her ballot against Question 3, which asks voters if they want to create a new publicly owned and controlled utility company, and in support of Question 4 to expand access to vehicle diagnostics and mechanical information.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the state and the residents of the state,” Bingham said of Question 3.

“Although it was perceived, to me, as helping citizens, I don’t think they did a very good job of putting forward all of their plans to be able to bring it forward at this time,” she said. “I thought it needed more research. It took a while to read through what they were trying to present and what the effect would be.”

Joe Conway, 44, said he was motivated to come vote “on pretty much everything,” including local school board races because he has school-aged children.

He said he supported Question 3 because it’s “a huge opportunity to change the way utilities are managed.”


“I don’t think it’s a perfect solution, but I don’t think CMP is a solution either,” Conway said.

– Rachel Ohm (Portland Press Herald)

Election officials expect ‘steady’ turnout in Fairfield, Skowhegan

12:55 p.m. Voters have been coming in at a “steady” pace all morning at the Fairfield Community Center, town clerk Christine Keller said.

Keller expects more voters once schools let out this afternoon. As of 11:40 a.m., 362 voters had cast their ballots, in addition to more than 300 who voted absentee. The town has nearly 4,500 registered voters.

In Skowhegan, shortly after polls opened at 7 a.m., 30 voters had already cast their ballots. Elections officials for the town, which has more than 6,000 registered voters, expect turnout to be in the thousands, with almost 500 residents already having voted absentee.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” Laurie Greenleaf, the warden overseeing the elections, said this morning. “Everything is running very well.”


– Jake Freudberg (Morning Sentinel) 

More voting stations needed in Auburn

12:53 p.m. Election officials requested two additional voting stations at the Boys and Girls Club in Auburn due to long lines, which they attributed to the lengthy ballot questions.

— Andree Kehn (Sun Journal)

Augusta voter doing her ‘civic duty’

12:05 p.m. In Augusta’s Ward 3, the turnout in the morning was slow and steady, with voters arriving every few minutes at the Augusta Civic Center.

Poll workers expected the pace to pick up midday as voters took their lunch breaks and again around 4 p.m.

Judy Grant, who has voted in every election since she was eligible, said a couple of the referendum questions caught her attention.


“It’s my civic duty and just always do it,” Grant said, adding that she encourages other people to vote, including one woman in her 70s last year who Grant convinced to vote for the first time in her life.

Grant said she knew how she would vote on the ballot questions before she arrived at the polling place.

“I voted that I didn’t want the big money (in elections) and I didn’t want the power thing to go,” she said. “There’s not enough information to prove it’s the right thing to do. Not that I love CMP, but things could be worse.”

As for the local races, Christopher Voynik is challenging Courtney Gary-Allen for an at-large seat on the Augusta City Council, and Jane Maguire-Tice and James Orr are facing off for the Ward 3 seat on the Augusta Board of Education.

While she did not say whom she voted for, Grant said she read about the candidates and spent some time on Facebook reading the candidate’s pages.

“Much can be told about all the comments and what they stand for, and when they are asked a question what their response is,” she said.


– Jessica Lowell (Kennebec Journal)

Portland voters face full ballot

11:12 a.m. Turnout was “slow and steady,” at Merrill Auditorium in Portland late Tuesday morning.

Voters there had a full state ballot of questions, as well as a five-way mayor’s race, city council races and local referendums.

“I’m glad I brought my glasses so I could read the fine print … the stuff they don’t want you to read,” joked Frank Payson, 71.

Payson said he was surprised to see so many things on the ballot.

“They didn’t tell me one of the ballots had stuff on both sides. I’m glad I turned it over,” he said.


Speaking about the referendum questions, Payson said he’s not sure he fully understands the ramifications of some, so he left those blank.

He ranked Mark Dion first for Portland mayor.

“I remember him when he was (Cumberland County) sheriff, and I thought he did pretty good then,” Payson said.

Aline Ndayizeye, 38, said she ranked Pious Ali first. This is the second time she’s voted in a Portland mayor’s race since immigrating here from Burundi more than a decade ago. She said it was nice to “vote for someone who looks like me.”

– Eric Russell (Press Herald)

Ranked-choice count set for 10 a.m. Wednesday in Portland

11:02 a.m. In an email Monday night, Mayor Kate Snyder said that should any rank choice voting tabulations need to be made in Portland’s mayoral race it will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the State of Maine room in City Hall.


It will be open to the public.

— Grace Benninghoff (Press Herald)

‘Relatively light’ turnout in Auburn expected to pick up

10:48 a.m. There were short but steady lines just after 10 a.m. at the Auburn Senior Community Center. This is the polling place for Auburn voters in Wards 1 and 2.

Unofficial word at the polling station was that turnout so far was “relatively light” with expectation that it will be busier later in the day.

— Christopher Wheelock (Sun Journal)

Wilton voters lined up at 8 a.m.

10:45 a.m. Within minutes of the polls opening at 8 a.m. in Wilton, there were at least a dozen residents either filling out their ballots or waiting in line to get one.


Some of that early may be attributed to an RSU 9 referendum – which asks voters to approve the purchase of the Holman Mission House in Farmington for use as administrative offices.

— Pam Harnden (Livermore Falls Advertiser)

Ballot clerks Shannon Chase Smith, left, and Lyn Lewia greet voters shortly after the polls opened Tuesday morning at the town office in Wilton. Within a few minutes about a dozen people were either casting their votes or waiting for ballots. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

‘Good, steady pace’ of voters in Westbrook

10:38 a.m. The Westbrook Community Center gymnasium was busy Tuesday morning as scores of voters cast their ballots in the cavernous room.

“It’s been a very good, steady pace,” City Clerk Angela Holmes said.

The two-sided ballots “are taking a little longer” to complete, she said. Still, “no one had to wait.”

– Stephen Singer (Press Herald)


Turnout steady but smooth at Portland Expo

10:21 a.m. More than 225 people cast their ballots in the first hour and a half of voting at the Portland Expo.

Voters trickled into the building and made their way to the booths without delay. Warden Liz Waters said traffic had been steady but smooth since the polls opened. The district has approximately 3,000 registered voters.

“We haven’t had any big rushes or long lines,” she said. “It’s been moving along.”

– Megan Gray (Press Herald)

Maine Secretary of State expects strong turnout

10: 16 a.m. Secretary of State Shenna Bellows started Election Day in Waterboro and planned to visit polling places across the state Tuesday.

“So far, so good. Things are going very smoothly,” she said shortly after 10 a.m. as she traveled to Lewiston. “It’s nothing like a gubernatorial turnout, but for an off year, I think we’ll see a strong showing.”


Approximately 110,000 absentee ballots were sent out ahead of Tuesday and 91,000 had been returned, Bellows. That means voters who still have their absentee ballots need to turn them in by 8 p.m.

“We have had the question: What if my requested ballot is home, but I want to vote in person on my way home from work,” Bellows said. “They can ask their voting official to reject their absentee ballot. We have careful record keeping to ensure people can only vote once. So, whether you spill coffee on it, your dog ate it or you lost it, you can still go and vote.”

Bellows declined to make any “big predictions” on turnout but said she’d love to see 50%. During the last off-year election in 2021, turnout was 37%, but mayoral races in the state’s two biggest cities plus a full slate of referendum questions is expected to drive that higher.

“Eight referendum questions is unusual and certainly more than we have seen in recent years, but talking to wardens and poll workers, there haven’t been substantial voter confusion,” Bellows said. “People have done their research.”

Bellows said voters should be prepared to see people gathering signatures when they leave their polling place.

“We always advise voters to make sure they see and understand what they are signing,” she said.


Bellows also reminded that Maine has same-day voter registration, which means if someone is not registered or has recently moved, they can still go vote Tuesday.

– Eric Russell (Press Herald)

New school driving voters in Scarborough

10:11 a.m. Voters trickled into Scarborough High School on Tuesday morning, where voters will decide on a $160 million project to build a consolidated K-3 school.

Resident Bob Bery said that the proposed new school was the biggest issue for him: “Our taxes are already pretty high.”

Betty Perry, a substitute teacher in Scarborough, said: “I know how hard the portables can be. We can just cross our fingers and hope for the new school.”

– Derek Davis (Press Herald)


Betty Perry puts on a sticker after voting at Scarborough High School on Tuesday morning. Perry, a substitute teacher in Scarborough, said: “I know how hard the portables can be. We can just cross our fingers and hope for the new school.” Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald

Our comprehensive guides to Election Day 2023

10 a.m. A complete voters’ guide to the ballot questions and candidates in Portland can be found on’s election page.

Voting in the Lewiston-Auburn area? Here’s our complete guide.

Voting in Central Maine? We’ve still got you covered.

Voting begins in Brunswick

9:21 a.m. Voting was steady in Brunswick on Tuesday morning with a mix of older voters, people stopping in before heading to work and even some younger voters who may have been students at nearby Bowdoin College.

Town Clerk Fran Smith said more than 3,500 absentee ballots had been sent ahead of Election Day, which is a lot for an off-year election.

“Brunswick always has some of the highest turnout, so I’m not surprised,” she said.


Smith said Questions 3 and 4 seemed to be generating the most interest, but she said Brunswick also has a contested town council race that has gotten attention locally.

A young woman named Dacie, who declined to give her last name, said she did a lot of research about the referendum questions ahead of time but still felt conflicted about some of her votes.

She said she knows people who weren’t planning to vote and were overwhelmed by the volume of questions.

“I take voting seriously,” Dacie said. “My mom always used to take me to vote with her when I was a kid. It matters.”

– Eric Russell (Press Herald)

Portland voters to decide on new mayor, rent control

9 a.m. About a dozen people quietly filled Merrill Auditorium on Tuesday morning to cast their ballot as Portland voters set out to elect a new mayor.


Pious Ali and a representative for Andrew Zarro stood outside welcoming voters.

Opponents to Question A, which would exempt landlords with nine or fewer units from the city’s rent control ordinance, were also stationed near City Hall.

– Julia Arenstam (Press Herald)

Maine voters head to the polls

8 a.m. Polls opened across the state Tuesday morning in an off-year election that features eight referendum questions, including a proposal to create a publicly owned electric utility.

Some voters also will get the chance to choose local officeholders or decide whether to invest in new schools or other public projects.

Voters will decide mayoral races in Portland, Biddeford, Lewiston and Auburn, among other local elections.


Two statewide ballot questions could determine the future operation of Central Maine Power Co. and Versant Power.

On the state ballot, Question 3 calls for creating a new publicly owned and controlled utility, to be named Pine Tree Power, by taking over the assets of CMP and Versant, which together distribute 97% of Maine’s electricity. Buying CMP and Versant would cost $6 billion to $13 billion and require the state to assume considerable debt.

Question 1 is a measure initiated by Avangrid, CMP’s investor-owned parent company, as a backstop if Question 3 passes. It would require the Maine state treasurer to seek voter approval before the state could take on more than $1 billion in debt for certain quasi-governmental entities and all publicly owned electric utilities.

Question 2 of the eight referendum questions on the state ballot asks voters if they want to prohibit foreign governments and the entities they control or influence from spending money on state and local referendum campaigns in Maine.

Question 4 asks whether car and truck manufacturers should be required to provide access to advanced technology and information necessary for owners and independent mechanics to repair increasingly complex vehicles outside dealerships. The referendum question is a part of the national “Right to Repair” movement.

Questions 5 through 8 are proposed constitutional amendments, including Question 6, which would reverse a provision that currently keeps a section on tribal obligations from being included in print versions of the Maine Constitution.

Polling places in most Maine communities open between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Virtually all polling places must close at 8 p.m.

Check your municipality for exact polling times and locations or go to the Maine Secretary of State’s website for information about polling places and the rights of voters.

This is an excerpt from a full story. Read more here.

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