Snowe, Collins Refuse To Say How They Voted On Maine Gay Marriage Vote

Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, two Senate Republicans from Maine, have amassed outsized power by playing their legislative cards very tightly and keeping their colleagues guessing about where they stand.

That practice must be addictive -- it extends to their voting habits back at home, too.

The state of Maine is considering a referendum that would overturn the state's new pro-gay-marriage law and restrict the institution to opposite-sex couples. During the lead-up to the election, HuffPost asked both how they planned to vote and both declined to say.

Now that Election Day is here, they are continuing to stay mum -- though both did concede, at least, that they cast a vote by absentee ballot.

"I have never taken a position on state referenda," Collins explained on her way into a weekly GOP meeting. "It's for the people of Maine." But, said HuffPost, the election is underway and you've already voted.

"I have never taken a position on state referenda," she repeated.

The election is, after all, by secret ballot and the senators are within their rights to obscure how they voted. But for a public figure, it's an unusual stance to take, especially on such a cornerstone human rights issue.

Snowe was equally secretive. "I sure did," she said when asked if she voted on the referendum. Can you tell us how you voted?

"No," she said. "That's for the people of Maine to decide."

But aren't you one of the people of Maine?

"Yes. And I did," she said. "I already voted."