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Valley voter turnout in line with previous elections

FORT KENT, Maine — Election Day sparked no surprises in voter turnout and few issues with the new ranked-choice voting platform as polling took place in the St. John Valley, according to local officials.

In the town of Fort Kent 1,723 voters turned out at the town’s Municipal Building on Tuesday, Nov. 6, compared to 1,771 during the state’s last gubernatorial race in 2014, according to town clerk Angela Coulombe.

The small town of Wallagrass saw similar voting ratios between this election and that of 2016.

“Two years ago we had 301 ballots and this year we had 243,” said town manager Lana Voisine. “And there wasn’t really any confusion about ranked-choice voting. We feel like individuals voted for their first choice and kept the others blank.”

In election results, Fort Kent followed the state in the gubernatorial contest, voting for Democrat Janet Mills over Republican Shawn Moody 804-741. Other Valley towns agreed, with Mills winning 963-610 in Madawaska, 97-68 in Grand Isle, 239-194 in St. Agatha,  and 352-277 in Van Buren.

The vote was closer in Allagash, with Mills barely inching past Moody 59-57, and in Frenchville, 221-216, while Moody was first in New Canada with a vote of 105-90, Cyr Plt., 26-17, Hamlin, 47-34 and St. John Plt., 64-51.

Mills won that race throughout the state and will become Maine’s first female governor.

Troy Jackson retained his Maine Senate seat, taking just under 60 percent of the Fort Kent vote and 76 percent of the vote in Wallagrass, going on to defeat his opponent, Republican Mike Nadeau. Madawaska chose Jackson 1,155-556 for Nadeau. Van Buren also swung for Jackson 465-230.

In the race for the Maine House of Representatives, Valley voters chose Democrat Jared Golden to replace Republican U.S. Congressman Bruce Poliquin as follows: Allagash, 62-48; Fort Kent, 827-663; Frenchville, 233-207; Grand Isle, 110-64; Madawaska, 965-642; Van Buren, 379-276.

In Cyr Plt. and Hamlin, the vote swung for Poliquin over Moody, 33-11 and 44-35, respectively. Eagle Lake’s results were unavailable at publication.

Independent Angus King retained his U.S. Senate seat, with Valley voters confirming him by 52 percent in Allagash, 51 percent in Cyr Plt., 61 percent in Frenchville, 60 percent in Fort Kent, 62 percent in Grand Isle, 52 percent in Hamlin, 61 percent in Madawaska, 61 percent in New Canada, 61 percent in St. Agatha, 59 percent in St. John Plt., 58 percent in Van Buren and just over 76 percent in Wallagrass. St. Francis’ results were unavailable at publication.

In the race for Aroostook County sheriff, Shawn Gillen defeated opponent Matt Irwin in Fort Kent and Wallagrass by a 3-1 margin, and handily won the race throughout The County. The results from other Valley towns included St. Francis, 322-151; Madawaska, 1232-459; Hamlin, 47-36; and Van Buren, 508-185.

Maine Rep. John Martin also retained his seat. Allagash chose Martin’s opponent, Kevin Bushey, 73-50. St. John Plantation went for Martin at 86-43. Fort Kent swung heavily for Martin with 1096 votes to Bushey’s 579.

For full election results, please visit  https://bangordailynews.com/maine-elections/

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