Town of Brunswick elections fast approaching
Bowdoin students can celebrate the 30th anniversary of the 18-year-old
voting age by heading down Federal Street on Tuesday, November 6 to cast
their ballots in the state referendum and municipal elections. The polls
are open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday's election features a proposed change in Brunswick coastal zoning,
six state bond levy questions totaling nearly $150-million, and several
town officer contests.
If Brunswick voters affirm municipal Question 1-the Coastal Protection
Zone amendments passed by the town council last spring-they will bring
a complicated series of changes to Brunswick's zoning density code. Supporters
argue the revisions will help prevent dangerous lawn and septic system
runoff from killing shellfish in Maquoit and Middle Bay, while opponents
are concerned that the measure would infringe on private property rights.
Voters will also decide if the state should be allowed to borrow money
by issuing bonds to pay for a variety of projects, from affordable housing,
transportation, and education to environmental protection and potato marketing.
Terms for town and School Board offices are two years. All offices are
The six bond questions would allow the state to borrow money for a broad
range of issues. Question 1 allows bond money for affordable housing and
housing for domestic violence victims; Questions 2 covers biomedical and
marine research; Question 3 appropriates transportation funding, while
Question 4 provides for improvements in educational facilities; Question
5 links nine environmental regulation and pollution control provisions
with a potato marketing campaign, and Question 6 lets the state borrow
money to "make improvements" to state sponsored universities
and the Maine Maritime Academy.
If all six bonds are approved, the total interest and principal paid
will run to approximately $186,437,363, State Treasurer Dale McCormick
said in his ballot statement.
All Brunswick voters have a choice between three candidates for the Town
Council Representative At-Large. Voters who live in districts One, Three
and Four will have a choice of candidates to represent their council districts.
Brillant said the town is not predicting a specific turnout for the election.
There are 13,934 registered voters in Brunswick, she said, and "Many
Bowdoin students are registered in town."
Brunswick citizens may register to receive absentee ballots by declaring
their legal residence to be the state of Maine. Any voter may request
temporary or permanent absentee status for future elections.
Bowdoin students may register to vote in the election if they are declared
residents of the Town of Brunswick and the State of Maine. Registration
is conducted at the Town Clerk's Office at 28 Federal Street. On Election
Day, citizens may register at the Recreation Center at 30 Federal Street
and only those registering on Election Day may vote at the Center.
Voters in District 7 (encompassing most of the Bowdoin campus proper)
who do not register on Election Day must cast their ballots at the Coffin
School on Barrows Drive, off of Columbia Avenue.
Registrar of Voters Pauline Brillant said, "Bowdoin students live
in every district in Brunswick," adding that even Brunswick Apartments
is in a separate district (District 5) from the majority of the campus.
Students are advised to contact the Town Clerk's office to confirm their
district and voting location.
Voting and absentee registration is managed by the Town Clerk's Office.
The office, located at 28 Federal Street in Brunswick, is located directly
above the Police Department and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday
through Friday. The town is directing all elections questions to the Clerk's
Office at (207) 725-6658.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Maine's ratification of the 26th
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted 18-20 year-olds the
right to vote. According to studies by the non-profit Close Up Foundation,
a promoter of the youth vote, only 35 percent of 18-24 year-olds voted
in the 2000 presidential election, down from a high of 50 percent in 1972,
the first presidential election year after the amendment was ratified.