Harpswell voters favored a ban on the Central Maine Power corridor, a $100 million transportation bond and a “right to food” in November’s statewide referendum.
The final tallies were 1,416-913 on Question 1; 1,900-435 on Question 2; and 1,295-1,010 on Question 3. More than half of Harpswell’s registered voters cast ballots — 2,348 of 4,502.
Harpswell mirrored the state as a whole, as all three questions appear likely to pass by comfortable margins.
Question 1 read as follows: “Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?”
The 145-mile line would bring hydropower from Quebec across the U.S. border and through a remote section of western Maine to Lewiston. Central Maine Power Co. would then deliver the power to Massachusetts, which wants to boost its portfolio of renewable energy.
A yes vote favored a ban on the project’s construction, while a no vote would have allowed construction to continue. Harpswell favored the ban by more than 20 points, with 60.8% of voters on the yes side. Statewide, the Bangor Daily News reported 59% support for the ban.
Question 2 asked, “Do you favor a $100,000,000 bond issue to build or improve roads, bridges, railroads, airports, transit facilities and ports and make other transportation investments, to be used to leverage an estimated $253,000,000 in federal and other funds?”
Of the $100 million, $85 million will go toward the construction and maintenance of highways and bridges. The other $15 million will go toward railroads, airports, public transportation, harbors and other transportation projects.
With 81.37% of voters in favor, Harpswell was more enthusiastic about the bond than the state as a whole. It still passed easily, with 72.1% support.
Question 3 asked, “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to declare that all individuals have a natural, inherent and unalienable right to grow, raise, harvest, produce and consume the food of their own choosing for their own nourishment, sustenance, bodily health and well-being?”
The amendment is known as the “right to food,” but media reports say its effect is not clear. Harpswell voters were less sure of this question, with 56.18% in favor. The Bangor Daily News had 60.5% of votes in the yes column early Wednesday.