ISLESBORO — Voters in the Maine community of Isleboro are voting on whether to allow hunters with firearms to kill deer as a way to stop what is being described as an “epidemic” of the tick-borne Lyme disease.

Health care providers at the island’s health center say that over the last eight years the island, which has a year-round population of about 600, has seen 69 cases of Lyme disease — enough to quality the outbreak as an epidemic.

Ticks live on the deer.

The Bangor Daily News says that so far this summer there have been 20 cases.

There are about 500 deer on the island, about five times the ideal number.

Today’s vote will decide whether to expand hunting. Currently, only bow and arrow hunting is allowed.