Aurie Cox of Lisbon inserts her local ballot into the voting machine at the Lisbon High School gym Tuesday with guidance from first-time poll worker Bill Fuller. Vanessa Paolella/Sun Journal

LISBON — Turnout among Lisbon residents was strong in Tuesday’s election at the Lisbon High School gym as national and statewide issues drove voters to the polls.

But unlike most Maine towns, Lisbon voters had several local elections and a referendum on their municipal ballot in addition to the highly-publicized state elections.

Residents overwhelmingly voted in support of a $1.7 million bond to purchase two new firetrucks for the Lisbon Fire Department, 2,709-1,309.

Many of the more than half-dozen voters the Sun Journal spoke to Tuesday afternoon shared they hadn’t known that the referendum was on the ballot. But most said they ultimately voted in favor to support Lisbon’s emergency responders.

“If it will enhance the town, I’m for whatever will make it better,” said June Bass.

Nicole and Quentin Doughty came to different conclusions on the referendum question. Nicole Doughty expressed concerns about the high price tag, commenting that the town purchased a new truck just a couple of years ago. Her husband however voted yes: “I like to invest in my local area,” he said.


The two trucks are estimated to be completed in 2024 and will replace three aging trucks: a 2004 rescue truck, a 2003 pumper truck and a 2000 Freightline pumper/tanker.

Poll worker Steven Foster helps Christy Le of Lisbon feed her local ballot into the voting machine at the Lisbon High School gym Tuesday during the lunchtime voting rush. Vanessa Paolella/Sun Journal

For the contested School Committee election, newcomer Laura Craig received the most votes at 2,191, earning one of two three-year terms on the School Committee. Current member Kelli Rodgers, who earned the second highest vote tally of 1,860, will also join the five-member committee.

Mary Jane Wellington received 1,361 votes, Leonard Lednum received 1,321 and Chelsey Harvey received 966.

Some residents told the Sun Journal their vote was driven by a desire for increased parent involvement in schools.

A vacant one-year term will be filled through a selection process by the School Committee beginning in December. Those interested in the position will need to submit a letter of intent to the committee, which will interview the candidates and appoint someone.

In total, over 4,200 votes were cast in Lisbon, more than the nearly 3,900 votes in the last midterm election in 2018.


Most voters selected Republican Paul LePage as their pick for governor and Democrat Jared Golden as U.S. Representative for Maine District 2 in Lisbon.

“I don’t want to see us stay the way it’s been going,” said Don Bright of Lisbon, who voted for LePage. He added that there’s been “too much liberal spending … there’s not much common sense going on at the moment, and I’d like to see that change.”

“We’re slowly dying and people don’t seem to realize it,” said Aline Albert of Lisbon, referencing high prices and the record-high rate of inflation. “We need a change so bad.”

Albert also voted for LePage.

Lisa Chasse, whose primary issue is reproductive rights, said she voted for Janet Mills. She noted that she was happy with Mills’ response to the pandemic and Maine’s low death rate in comparison to other states.

“She saved a lot of lives,” she said, acknowledging that small business owners might not have liked her pandemic policies.


Ross Poulan said they voted for candidates who support LGBTQ+ issues and is particularly passionate about encouraging their friends to vote.

“I want to make sure my friends aren’t wasting their opportunity to get their voice heard,” they said.

Their mother, Amy Poulan, said she and her husband are ardent fans of Sam Hunkler, the independent who ran for governor.

“He really wants to be for the people, he’s so normal and down to Earth,” she said, calling him a nice man. Her husband has a custom-made Hunkler T-shirt and helped place campaign signs around town.

Town Clerk Lisa Ward said she had a number of new people apply to be poll workers, including a 17-year-old senior at Lisbon High School.

“I had so many people want to help with the elections, I had to ask them if they’d be willing to help with the next election,” Ward said, adding that she thinks the news likely sparked the interest.

Ward expressed gratitude for the public works department, police department and school district, which all pitched in to set up Lisbon’s polling station.

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