Harpswell voters were in step with the rest of the state on Tuesday, Nov. 7, opposing a public takeover of Maine’s power companies while backing a “right to repair” for independent garages by wide margins.
On the much-watched Question 3, Harpswell voted 1,504 to 774 against creating a consumer-owned utility called Pine Tree Power to acquire Central Maine Power and Versant Power, according to unofficial results from the Town Clerk’s Office.
Statewide, the margin was larger. While 66% of Harpswell voters opposed Pine Tree Power, 70% of Maine voters overall defeated the initiative, according to the Portland Press Herald.
In a related matter, Harpswell voters supported Question 1’s ban on allowing consumer-owned utilities to take on more than $1 billion in debt without voter approval, 1,444 to 784. They also supported a ban on foreign campaign contributions, 1,984 to 281. Both bans cruised to approval statewide — Question 1 with 65% of the vote and Question 2 with 86%, according to the Press Herald.
Support for the “right to repair” vehicles came in at 87% in Harpswell and 84% statewide. The vote will force vehicle manufacturers to allow vehicle owners and automotive repair shops to access vehicle diagnostic systems.
Harpswell voters were split on four proposed amendments to the state constitution. They favored Question 5’s adjustment to the time period for judicial review of petitions, 1,381 to 802; and Question 6’s restoration of language about Maine’s obligations to tribes to official printed copies of the constitution, 1,716 to 490. But they opposed Question 7’s removal of a provision to require petition circulators to live in Maine, 1,494 to 715; and Question 8’s lifting of voting restrictions for people under guardianship for reasons of mental illness, 1,156 to 1,067.
Statewide, Questions 5 and 6 passed with 58% and 73% of the vote, respectively, according to the Press Herald. The amendment regarding petition circulators failed, with 69% of voters opposing the measure.
The final question had the closest margin, as 53% of voters rejected Question 8, the voting rights amendment. Although the restriction will remain in the Maine Constitution, people under guardianship for mental illness already have the right to vote. A federal court found the restriction unconstitutional more than 20 years ago, according to Maine Public.
Of Harpswell’s 4,650 registered voters, nearly half — 2,292 — cast votes in the referendum.