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Maine: Higher turnout than expected

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
In Maine, where a repeal of its recently passed same-sex marriage law is on the ballot, turnout is higher than expected, according to Secretary of State Matt Dunlap.

Turnout could be higher than 50%, Dunlap projected. He had predicted that it could be about 35%.

Dunlap said while driving around to various polling places, he was surprised by lines he saw. "Wow it's pretty busy here," Dunlap said he thought. 

So what does a higher turnout mean for the fate of the ballot initiative? It could portend well for those in favor of same-sex marriage, Dunlap posited, because the voters might skew younger. Older voters generally go to the polls -- no matter what or who's on the ballot.

They're "more committed," Dunlap said. Younger voters tend to spike when something piques their interest.

"The younger voter might stay home and say, 'I'm watching Wheel of Fortune,'" Dunlap said. "The older voter says, 'I'm going to do my civic duty.'"

Exit polls for years have shown that older voters are a much more reliable vote and skew higher, particularly in local elections.

Maine has slighly more than a million registered voters. Polls close there at 8:00 pm ET.

*** UPDATE *** Well, it looks like the higher turnout favored the activists. Maine voted to repeal its same-sex marriage law by a 53%-47% margin.