Wednesday, November 5, 2008

At last, the election is over, almost!

Edited, 12:30 PM to update Scarborough results.

It’s finally over. That election of 2008 ended with few, if any, surprises. Barrack Obama has won the Presidency over John McCain. Here in Maine, Susan Collins handily whipped Tom Allen for the senate seat while Chellie Pingree and incumbent Mike Michaud won the house seats.

A malfunction in a voting machine in Scarborough has held up some of the final totals. Republican Charlie Summers hadn’t yet conceded the victory in District One to Pingree. He was waiting for the results from his home town, Scarborough, to get counted. Edit: Charlie Summers has conceded to Chellie Pingree.

That machine malfunction is also holding up final tallies on other races as well, but Collins’ victory over Allen is large enough so that the Scarborough results probably wouldn’t change anything. One area that town residents are anxiously awaiting is the fate of the Scarborough Downs racino. The race track wants to have slot machines but need a zone change to accomplish that. We won’t know the results until later today. Edit: The racino question was narrowly defeated, according to WCSH TV.

The tax repeal referendum appears to have won big and early this morning the Oxford County casino approval question appears to have lost but that one, along with the water quality referendum, Question #3, which was narrowly winning, may also have to wait for the Scarborough results.

Depending on what we do today when Gator Wife gets home from her part time job and I get home from a mid-morning appointment, once the results become more or less official, I may update this just a little. It’ll be days before they become really official as they have to be certified by the state.

I’d like to congratulate one member of the group that meets on the last Wednesday of every month for lunch. That group member has won his state senatorial race.

Because we must wait until later today to learn all the results, I can’t fairly comment on them. But there certainly weren’t any surprises, yet. I’d guess the Scarborough vote won’t change the outcome of the First District race, even though it might end up just a little closer. The result of Scarborough’s slots issue was still unknown as this was posted this morning.

I am pleased that the tax repeal referendum passed as handily as it did. The Legislature had enacted a tax increase on nearly all beverages and a tax on paid insurance claims during a late night session without any public hearing or citizen input during the waning hours of the last legislative session. It was designed to help fund the very failed Dirigo health plan. We can only hope now that the new legislature will get the message that such taxes will be looked at closely by the voters. That legislature probably should take another look at Dirigo, too.

It may give hope to three other citizen initiatives that were given to the Secretary of State last week concerning a reduction on excise tax, a new Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights (TABOR II), and freeing up health care options. The next legislature will decide on passing the initiatives as they are or sending them out to voters next year.


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