CAMDEN/ROCKPORT – Throughout the Midcoast, towns and there cities of Rockland and Belfast are recording heavy voter turnout since polls opened at 8 a.m. Lines stretched out the doors as voters waited for their turn to cast their ballots and voting booths filled to capacity.
Rockport’s town clerk Linda Greenlaw described it as heavy and steady.
“And I expect it to stay this way all day,” she said. “We have a school issue and a library issue that people are really interested in. I think it’s a sign of the times.”
Greenlaw said it began as soon as the polls opened.
“We have about 850 absentee ballots,” she said. “It’s going to be a busy day.”
In Lincolnville, a swarm of 400–plus voters arrived at 8 a.m. to vote.
Camden Town Clerk Katrina Oakes also described the turnout as heavy.
“It’s been this way since the beginning,” she said. “Lines out the door at 8 a.m. and it hasn’t stopped. Our booths are full and the lines to the voting machines are full, but everything is working well and people seem to understand that it’s a heavy turnout and their willing to wait happily.”
Oakes said the early turnout is unusual.
“We had more than 600 voters before 10 a.m. which is very high for us,” she said. “We have 25 booths, which is what’s required for our number of registered voters.”
Last year Camden had problems with its voting machines.
“Knock on wood everything is going well this year,” said Oakes. “They made some changes to the machines that prevent the jamming of the ballots as they go down into the box.”
Oaks said the absentee ballots received by the town is a good indicator of voter turnout and it was the highest she has seen in her 17 years as town clerk.
The polls are open until 8 p.m. Expect a wait and expect difficulty finding a parking spot, especially around the town office in Rockport.