Island and mainland residents alike voted down the proposed repeal of Maine’s anti-discrimination law. By large margins they also favored a bond issue that would help preserve working waterfronts and a constitutional amendment to allow “current use” taxation of properties used in connection with the fishing industry.
Statewide, the anti-discrimination law repeal failed 45 to 55 percent. It passed on one island – Swan’s – by a vote of 105-67. Elsewhere the “no” margins on repeal were large, sometimes overwhelming.
All island communities favored Question 5, the bond issue that funds the purchase of land or easements everywhere in the state, including working waterfronts. Isle au Haut favored Question 5, 32-7; the vote on Matinicus was 29-5; on Vinalhaven it was 344-123; in the Cranberry Isles’ two precincts the margins were 36-10 and 54-10. Swan’s favored Question 5 by a vote of 111-56. Long Island (Casco Bay) favored it, 108-26. Peaks voted “yes” 375-115; Cliff Island did likewise, 30-10; and Great Diamond by 39-12. Chebeague passed it, 219-64.
Islands likewise were kindly disposed toward the lone constitutional amendment on the ballot, which will allow fishing-related waterfront properties to be taxed at “current use” levels as opposed to “highest and best use” required in most other instances.
The Cranberries voted 36-6 and 62-1 in favor of the change, which narrowly failed statewide in a similar referendum about five years ago.
Frenchboro favored the amendment by a vote of 15-6, while on Swan’s the margin was 137-26. On Isle au Haut the margin was 37-2. Matinicus favored it, 32-0, while North Haven did so by 192-43. On Monhegan the “yes” vote on the amendment was 43-4, and on Long Island it was 102-29.
In Casco Bay, the favorable vote on Peaks was 420-69; on cliff it was 36-4; and on Great Diamond it was 41-10. Chebeague passed it 254-19. Chebeague voters also favored their own secession effort, 246-41.
The only bond issue that failed statewide, which would have funded renovations at the University of Maine, did well on most islands. It passed in the Cranberries, Swan’s Island, Isle au Haut, Vinalhaven, North Haven, Islesboro and Monhegan, but it failed on Frenchboro and Matinicus.