Voters in Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach, like residents across the state, will go to the polls July 14 to cast ballots on school budgets for the coming year — in some cases on candidates for office, and in others, on local bonds.

They’ll also cast ballots in party primaries, deciding which candidate they want to represent their party in the fall election, and on two state bond questions, one for $15 million for improving internet connections in underserved areas, and another, for $105 million, for transportation improvements.

Those who want to vote earlier can do that, now, at all three locations, through an absentee ballot.

In Biddeford, City Clerk Carmen Morris last week said she and her staff were already in the process of filling absentee ballot requests. Ballots became available the first of the week.

“We received the absentee ballots today and I’m now in the process of stuffing approximately 1,400 envelopes for absentee requests we’ve received thus far,” Morris said in an email on June 10.

Voters may call City Hall to request an absentee ballot at 284-9307 or request one online at: https://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl

Biddeford voters will cast a validation vote on the school budget and act on a referendum question that would see the city borrow $452,113 in loan financing through the state’s school revolving renovation fund for security and safety improvements at the city’s schools. There is no interest fee for the 5-year loan term. The remainder of the money for the project, $392,3266, is to be forgiven by the state.

Those who wish to vote on Election Day July 14 may do so from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Tiger Gym at Biddeford High School on Maplewood Avenue.

In Saco, City Clerk Michele Hughes said absentee ballots were to be available June 15.

“As of right now we have 920 absentee ballot requests, which is significantly higher than normal, and is just short by 200 for the total absentee ballot requests we received for the March 3 Presidential Primary,” she said in a June 10 email.

In Saco, voters will decide if they wish to validate the school budget, and elect two Saco School Board members — one for Ward 1 and another for Ward 3. Garrett Abrahamson, who had represented Ward 1, resigned in December. Emily Walters, who represented Ward 3, resigned in March. Candidates are: David A. Precourt and Christina Q. Shea are running for the Ward 1 seat and Jeffrey A. Richard is running unopposed in Ward 3.

Hughes said Saco officials have been emphasizing the value of absentee voting.

“Residents can apply online through the State of Maine Electronic Absentee Ballot Request Service and also call the office,” she said. Hughes said those who desire to vote absentee at City Hall, rather than at home, may do so by appointment only, and only two people will be allowed to vote at a time. Staff will conduct required cleaning between appointments.

Those who would like an absentee ballot or to make an appointment to vote at City Hall may call 284-4831. Regular voting takes place at the Community Center, 75 Franklin St., from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on July 14.

In Old Orchard Beach, the Town Clerk’s Office is accepting requests for absentee ballots. In an email, OOB officials said by voting absentee, voters are minimizing their exposure to COVID-19.

“It’s easy, safe and secure, and there are no lines, no waiting, no parking hassle,” the OOB email said. ” You can vote from the comfort of your home.”

People can also vote absentee at Town Hall. However, OOB Town Clerk Kim McLaughlin said in an email, “we only take one person at a time in the building, and most people have been requesting electronically or calling on the phone and having it sent to them.”

Those enrolled in a political party will receive a primary ballot. All voters will receive a state referendum ballot, an Old Orchard Beach referendum ballot and an RSU 23 school budget ballot. Residents can call 934-4042 to request an absentee ballot. On July 14, polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Old Orchard Beach High School. OOB officials are asking voters to be prepared to follow COVID-19 restrictions, including social distancing.

The July 14 election had originally been scheduled for June 9 ,but was changed by Gov. Janet Mills due to concerns about coronavirus.

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