Cape Elizabeth voters defeated a second proposed 2008-2009 school budget Tuesday, by just 44 votes.

There were 1,141 votes against a $19.9 million budget that would have increased school spending 6 percent, and 1,097 in favor.

In a second, advisory vote, the majority who answered the question, 1,158, said the adopted budget was too high. A total of 603 said it was too low.

It was Cape’s second budget validation vote this summer, after a first budget of $19.7 million failed at the polls June 10. That budget posed an increase in school spending of 4.6 percent. The majority of voters who answered an advisory question said it was too low.

The failure of the second budget means Cape Elizabeth residents will face a third budget validation vote. The town is required to hold votes until a budget passes.

Voter turnout was approximately 30 percent Tuesday.

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