Election day draws voters to polls for historic vote

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) Tuesday was election day in the state. Polls opened as early as 6:00 a.m.

Folks filed into the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor steadily.

Bangor City Clerk, Lisa Goodwin says voter turnout is up this year.

A field of seven democrats and four republicans are vying to fill the office of governor that's being vacated by Republican Paul LePage.

Three democrats are on the ballot for Maine's Second Congressional District, one of whom will face incumbent Republican Bruce Poliquin come November.

Voters are also ranking their candidates in order of preference this year.

Making Maine the first state in the U.S. to use ranked-choice voting in a statewide primary election.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap tells us he's had good feedback from voters about the new system.

However, Governor LePage who has been opposed to the new voting system all along said today that he may not certify the results of Tuesday's Primary.

But Dunlap says the governor doesn't have to.

He says, "There's nothing for him to certify. It's not an election, it's a nomination. So, while we present him a proclamation as part of the formal process, if he doesn't sign it, it doesn't stop people from qualifying for the November ballot. So, it's a bit frustrating for us because we spend a lot of time answering these questions that really are not substantial to the nomination process that people are engaging in. It's important to answer the questions because we don't want people to think that the process doesn't matter because the Governor's not going to certify it and so they stay home and don't vote, we certainly don't want that. So, that is an area of frustration for us Unfortunately when the Governor of Maine says something like that, it is something you have to respond to."

Voters also decide the fate of ranked-choice voting in a referendum question on the ballot.

If a majority winner is not known by the end of tabulation, the ranked-choice voting process will begin.

Results may not be known until the Monday following the election.