October 17, 2017
Brian Duff, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in the Department of Political Science, was interviewed for Maine Public’s “Maine Things Considered” program on October 16. The program focused on predictions of voter turnout for four statewide questions that will be on the November 7 ballot.
Duff said that communities with hot button ballot issues, such as York County, where there is a proposal to build a casino, could see higher voter participation. “You can get something analogous to when the bear hunting questions was on the ballot a few years ago and you saw increased turnout in northern Maine,” he stated.
Because this is an off-year election with no candidates on the ballot, voter turnout is expected to be low. According to Duff, for low turnout elections, the best way to encourage voters to go to the polls is through door-to-door advertising, which requires significant money and time. “Door-to-door work is the only way to turn out the vote and that costs a lot of money and you knock on a lot of doors and don’t get an answer,” he said.
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