Caribou voters reject state utility, OK right to repair

3 weeks ago

CARIBOU, Maine — Like most of Maine, Caribou residents voted no to a state-run electric utility and overwhelmingly approved automotive right to repair.

City Clerk Danielle Brisette said turnout was busier than usual, with a steady stream of voters at the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center throughout the day.

Caribou has 5,610 registered voters. Of that number, 1545 voted, according to voter tallies. Normally an off-year election would draw about 1,200 voters, Brissette said on Election Day.

Voters faced eight statewide referendum questions. Here’s how the local vote went on each.

Question 1, barring government entities and consumer-owned electric utilities from borrowing more than $1 billion without statewide voter approval: Yes, 1056; no, 441.

Question 2, banning foreign campaign contributions: Yes, 1,305; no, 214.

Question 3, creating a government utility: No, 1,159; yes, 370.

Question 4, automotive right to repair: Yes, 1,178; no, 332.

Question 5, amending the state constitution to change the time for petition review: Yes, 813; no, 682.

Question 6, amending the state constitution to include all provision in printed copies: Yes, 1,028; no, 466.

Question 7: amending the state constitution to remove the Maine citizenship requirement for petitions: No, 1,106; yes, 388.

Question 8: amending the state constitution to allow those under guardianship with mental illness to vote: No, 900; yes, 597.

In the Caribou City Council race, residents reelected incumbent Courtney Boma to another three-year term with 1,075 votes. Jennifer Kelley and Tamara Lovewell won the other two three-year terms, with Kelley earning 1,006 votes and Lovewell garnering 896.  

Jan Umphrey-Tompkins and Louella Willey were unopposed for two three-year seats on the RSU 39 school board. Tompkins received 1,104 votes and Willey 1,069.

Kevin Barnes was elected to a three-year term on the Jefferson Cary Hospital Board. He ran unopposed and earned 1,304 votes.

Voters also supported a $660,000 RSU 39 bond issue to improve the athletic facilities at Caribou High School, with 865 voting yes and 563 voting no.

And lastly, residents voted 1,056 to 354 to pass a city charter amendment that would require capital expenditures of more than $500,000 to be voted on in November elections.