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For Immediate Release
November 30, 2004
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
207-626-8400

New Record Set for Voter Turnout in Maine

AUGUSTA, MAINE – Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky was joined by Governor John Baldacci on Tuesday in announcing a new record for voter turnout in Maine elections. With all municipalities reporting, the official turnout for the November 2, 2004 General Election was 73.75 percent of the state’s voting age population.

“Maine voters should be congratulated for exercising their right to vote in record-setting numbers. They have once again demonstrated that civic participation and civic responsibility matter to Maine people,” Secretary Gwadosky stated. “Credit also goes to the hundreds of local election officials who worked exceptionally hard to carry out their substantial responsibilities. Given the number of voters who participated, Maine’s clerks, registrars and other local officials did a remarkable job.”

“Our state has a long and proud tradition of civic involvement, and we now have a new standard by which to be measured. The citizens of this state understand that we all have a stake in the decisions that are made by government, and they recognize the importance of getting involved in that process,” Governor John Baldacci commented.

“When people from other parts of the nation look to Maine, they see a people who care about one another and about the issues that confront us. One of the significant ways they demonstrate their concern is by continually voting in numbers that are the envy of most other states. We can all be proud of this tradition,” Governor Baldacci added.

The turnout percentage is based on the ‘total ballots cast’ figure, which is slightly higher than the number of votes for President. It is also determined by using data on the voting age population provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. The total number of ballots cast was 751,519 and the voting age population is 1,018,982.

Maine’s previous record was 73.08 percent in the General Election of November, 1992. The only other time voter turnout in Maine exceeded 70 percent was in the General Election of November, 1960. In that Presidential election year, turnout was approximately 71 percent.

Secretary Gwadosky also commented on the smooth handling of the election process throughout Maine .  Having traveled from Presque Isle to Portland on Election Day, with a dozen stops at voting locations along the way, Secretary Gwadosky noted that local election officials were organized and well-prepared.

“For an election of this size and magnitude, we experienced very few problems. That speaks well of local election officials throughout the state, as well as the staff at Maine’s Elections Division in Augusta . They should be very pleased by how well the General Election of 2004 was conducted in Maine,” Gwadosky added.