Residents vote early on school budget

Posted June 07, 2009, at 7:57 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A dozen or so residents stopped by the Bangor Civic Center on Saturday to cast ballots in the $42 million school budget referendum, and early voting will continue today.

The referendum is Tuesday, June 9.

By 11 a.m. Saturday, a dozen residents had voted by absentee ballot, election warden Jane Budden said.

Friday “was quite busy compared to today,” she said, taking a break from knitting a lace tablecloth.

“We probably had 50” on Friday, ward clerk Gloria Owens said. “And we’re open Monday.”

Bangor is one of many communities statewide — among them Brewer and the SAD 63 communities of Holden, Eddington and Clifton — that has school budget referendum voting on Tuesday. School budget validation referendums now are required by the state.

This is the second year Bangor residents will have had the final say on whether the school budget gets approved.

One person who voted early in Bangor on Saturday was Donna Shaw, who said she did so at her husband’s urging.

“I would have waited until Tuesday,” she said. “He came in yesterday.”

In Bangor, 50 percent of the votes in the November 2008 election were cast by absentee ballot, City Clerk Patti Dubois has said.

Budden, Owens and election clerk Betty Snively speculated that this year’s low turnout for early voting was because the school budget was the only issue on the ballot.

“They should vote — it’s their money,” Owens said of residents.

Shaw said she does not expect a high turnout during Tuesday’s referendum because “most don’t vote [on school issues] unless they have kids or grandkids.”

Early voting Monday in Bangor is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Tuesday, polls will be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. Those who have not registered to vote may do so at the polls at the civic center, Snively said.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

990-8190

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