VAN BUREN, Maine – Van Buren saw a lower than average turnout for this election. This year’s ballot did not contain any local items, just the state’s eight questions.
Van Buren Town Clerk Jessica Cyr said on Tuesday that turnout had been pretty slow compared to previous years. She said that usually voter traffic picks up between noon and 1 p.m., and then again from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., but at 12:30 there were not as many people showing up compared to past years.
Cyr said the weather, which resulted in slushy roads, may have also contributed to the lower turnout.
She said she heard some comments from residents who were unsure of how to vote, because of the questions’ wording.
“We’ve done absentee ballots, and with Borderview [Rehabilitation and Living Center], a lot of people were saying that the questions were very confusing, very lengthy, and they didn’t know how to vote,” Cyr said.
By early afternoon on Tuesday, only about 80 residents had cast their ballots. For the town’s last election in June, Cyr said the overall turnout was between 300 and 400 votes – which is about average for the community.