PENOBSCOT COUNTY- Voters in Bangor, Hampden, and Orono voted to approve their respective school budgets.
The polls were busy in some areas, but not so much in others.
Election workers in Bangor and Hampden saw a lower voter turnout than most years.
“Out of 5,837 voters at this time, we’ve only had 138 voters,” said Paula Scott, the town clerk for Hampden.
“This is lower than most years, but it is only the school budget they’re voting on,” Lisa Goodwin, Bangor’s city clerk said. “Usually when there’s more things on the ballot, that brings more people out.”
The voter turnout in Orono was a different story.
“This particular election is higher than what we’ve had for the past four or five years,” Shelly Crosby, Orono’s town clerk, told us. “I believe it’s because of the diverse items on the two ballots.”
The first ballot had questions about the school budget and validation process, but voters were also asked to authorize the school district to take out nearly $17-million in bonds for school building renovations.
Voters in Orono approved all three articles.
“When I just checked my count. We had gone through 900 ballots. 155 of which were absentees,” Crosby said around 5 p.m.
Even though the polls are now closed, all of the town clerks agreed on the importance of voting in the referendums.
“It’s a fundamental right and a privilege,” Scott said. “I think we should exercise that right and privilege.”
Residents in Bangor also voted to discontinue the validation process meaning residents won’t vote on the school budget for at least 3 years, leaving it to be voted on by the city council.