Residents in Regional School Unit 73 voted Tuesday to approve a $19.6 million budget for 2019-20.

Jonathan Brenner of Livermore casts his ballot for two Regional School Unit 73 questions while ballot clerks Louise Castonguay and Gert Richards (partially hidden) look on. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

Voters in the towns of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls also approved a proposal to use the referendum validation process for the next three years.

Voters in Jay, meanwhile, approved funding to cover half of the cost of a school resource officer at Spruce Mountain Middle and High schools.

Voter turnout included 405 ballots in Jay, 155 in Livermore and 71 in Livermore Falls.

With the passage of the school budget, the amounts to be raised in taxes are: $6.14 million in Jay, an increase of $486,619;  $2.09 million in Livermore, a $182,776 increase; and $1.95 million in Livermore Falls, an increase of $227,795.

Early voting in the three towns was light.

Livermore Falls Registrar Dawn Young said only 31 residents had voted as of 2:30 p.m.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s very sad.”

Julie Taylor, center, holds ballots for the town of Jay and RSU 73 prior to casting her vote Tuesday afternoon. Livermore Falls Advertiser photo by Pam Harnden

In Livermore, 72 voters had gone to the polls shortly before 3 p.m.

“It’s ridiculous,” Deputy Town Clerk Jean Tardif said. “The school budget is 70% of our taxes.”

Town Clerk Renda Guild said she was not sure why the vote was so low this year. Livermore typically has strong voter turnout.

“Every vote matters,” she said.

Jay also saw low voter turnout, even with the addition of municipal ballot questions.

Town Clerk Ronda Palmer said about 200 residents had voted as of 3:15 p.m.

[email protected]