While many people across Maine faced torrential downpours to vote in state and municipal elections on Tuesday, most Bowdoin students preferred to stay dry.
According to Bowdoin College Democrats (BCD) Co-President Clark Gascoigne '08, BCD drove some 50 students to the polls. Last year, with higher-profile congressional and gubernatorial races as well as state referenda, BCD drove around 200 to the polls, and former co-president Charlie Ticotsky '07 pegged overall student turnout at more than 400.
"This year there were no partisan elections at all, just the city council, school board, and a few state referenda," said Gascoigne. "I don't think any of them were as high profile as TABOR or Maine Won't Discriminate [state referenda from 2006 and 2005]. That naturally would lower the expected turnout."
The Orient was unable to obtain complete data on Bowdoin student turnout. According to Brunswick Town Clerk Fran Smith, information about voters is sealed until 10 business days after elections in case the results are contested.
In key statewide issues, Maine voters rejected a referendum on a racino (horse racing track and casino) proposed by Maine's Passamaquoddy Indians and also nixed increased term limits for state representatives.
At the local level, Brunswick residents voted on city councilors and school board representatives.
Two incumbent school board members, Robert Morrison and Dugan Slovenski, were unseated by their challengers. Both Morrison and Slovenski opposed a proposal to build a new, consolidated elementary school for Brunswick students.
Morrison was campaigning for the at-large seat, while Slovenski was running in District Two. Most Bowdoin students vote in Districts Two, Six, and Seven.
In an informal survey conducted by the Orient, seven of 41 students said that they had voted. Two of the seven voted absentee for a different state.
"We're pretty involved in local politics in my family," said Laura Rekedal '08, who voted absentee in her home state of New Jersey.
Other students gave various reasons for not participating. One said she had to take an exam, while another went to the wrong polling place and didn't have enough time to go to the correct one.