From Staff Reports

A steady stream of voters cast ballots in Portland on Tuesday, drawn to the polls by a high-profile mayoral race and two contentious referendum questions.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. and city election officials are now tabulating the results.

Elections workers at East End Community School reported a strong, steady turnout throughout the day. At 6 p.m., there was a 20-minute wait for a ballot, with a line snaking around the gymnasium.

“That’s pretty dang good for an off-year election,” said Denise Shames, the election official at the East End precinct. Shames said 1,291 people had voted by 6 p.m., but she didn’t know what percentage had voted.

Turnout was lower at City Hall, election officials reported, with a slow but steady stream of voters. There was no one in line at about 6:15 p.m.

Mayor Michael Brennan, seeking a second term, is trying to fend off challenges from former state Sen. Ethan Strimling, who has garnered many political endorsements, and Portland Green Party leader Tom MacMillan.

Also a big draw for voters were two referendum questions that featured active “Yes” and “no” campaigns.

One referendum proposal seeks to make Portland one of a small number of U.S. to adopt a $15 per hour minimum wage. The other would create a new zoning protection for scenic views, starting with limiting development on the eastern waterfront.

Portlanders also chose three city councilors and three school board members.

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