Turnout was relatively strong today in Cape Elizabeth, where residents are voting in an advisory referendum on charging for parking at Fort Williams, the home to Portland Head Light.

Town Manager Mike McGovern said that when he voted in late morning, all but one of 30 booths set up for voters to mark ballots was occupied. McGovern said poll workers told him the turnout was steady all morning.

Proponents of the proposal to require permits for parking in the fort said the money is needed for upkeep of the park. Opponents say they don’t like the idea of charging at a park where admission has always been free and note that voters turned down the fee proposal before.

Elsewhere around the state, voter turnout was considered light. Maine Democrats and Republicans are picking candidates for governor and there are a handful of other contested primary races. Voters are also deciding whether to overturn a tax reform plan that the Legislature approved, cutting income tax rates while broadening the sales tax.

A handful of bond referenda are on the ballot as well, and some towns are voting on school budgets.

In South Portland, City Clerk Sue Mooney said she expected about 15 to 20 percent of registered voters to cast ballots, which is about average for recent primary elections, she said.

In Portland, turnout was light, but City Clerk Linda Cohen said voters had cast a record number of absentee ballots for a June primary. She said about 1,600 ballots had already been cast by the time polls opened this morning.



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