OXFORD HILLS — Voter turnout has been stronger than expected for an election with no state or national candidates on the ballot, according to some election officials. 

Statewide, voters are deciding five bond issues to borrow money for colleges and universities, the Maine National Guard and infrastructure improvements. Locally, Paris, Sumner and Oxford also have local questions on the ballot. 

Oxford has a three-way race for an open seat on the board of selectmen.

On Tuesday afternoon, Peter Laverdiere, of the candidates, was greeting voters entering the polls at the town’s Public Safety building. Peter Cushman and William Sanborn are also on the ballot. 

Laverdiere said attendance was steady through the morning, but started dropping off around 1 p.m. 

Oxford Town Clerk Ellen Morrison said she was surprised at the strong turnout, in an off-year election. 

Voting had mostly gone smoothly, Morrison said, although the town ran in to some small glitches with the new voting machines provided by the state. 

According to Morrison, the creases in absentee ballots caught in the dispenser, creating paper jams. She said a technician from the state fixed the problem in the early afternoon. 

In Paris, where voters are deciding whether to accept an amendment to the town’s special amusement ordinance, Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox agreed turnout was higher than expected. 

“It’e been steady all day,” Knox said. 

In Sumner, however, voter turnout was still pretty light, said Town Clerk Susan Runes. Sumner voters are deciding whether to move forward with the process of withdrawing from the RSU 10 school district.  

Runes said attendance might pick up later in the afternoon, when people started coming home from work. 

Local polling stations will be open until 8 p.m. 


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