WESTBROOK — The city clerk in Westbrook and town clerks in Gorham and Buxton have received a record-breaking number of requests for absentee ballots for the election July 14.

The election will decide winners in legislative primaries, for the Buxton Board of Selectmen and the SAD 6 board. Voters will also validate school budgets for their districts and will decide on two statewide referendum questions.

In Westbrook, 2,356 absentee ballots had been requested as of June 29. Absentee ballots must be turned in by the time polls close on July 14.

“We’ve blown past our previous (similar) election just with absentee ballots, ” said Westbrook City Clerk Angela Holmes. “The last primary that we held during a presidential year was June 2016 and we had state primaries and a school budget on there. Total voter turnout was 8.5%; that was just 1,025 total votes.”

Gorham’s Town Clerk Laurie Nordfors has received more than 2,100 requests with 50 to 60 more in daily online requests. Buxton Town Clerk John Myers reported 529 absentee ballots issued as of 1:20 p.m. Tuesday.

“Yes, most definitely a record for Buxton by far for a state primary, annual town meeting and SAD 6 election of directors,” Myers said.

In Westbrook, two Democrats, Suzanne Salisbury and Jim Violette, are in a primary runoff, vying for the late Ann Peoples’ House District 35 seat. Because no Republican candidates have entered the race, it is likely the winner of the primary will take the seat in November.

Residents will also vote on the $40.8 million school budget that includes no tax increase. The budget proposed for the next school year is up $400,00, or 0.99%, from this year’s, with city funds helping reverse tax impacts.

The city has no municipal elections on the ballot.

Gorham voters will decide whether to validate the $42.7 million school spending plan approved unanimously by the Town Council June 16. The school budget will not raise the town’s tax rate.

Buxton will fill municipal candidates at the July 14 election, but all candidates are running unopposed.

Incumbent Francis Pulsoni and David Field Jr. are running for two, three-year terms on the five-member Board of Selectman and Town Clerk John Myers is running for reelection. There are no candidates on the ballot for a pair of Planning Board terms and two Budget Committee seats.

Voters in Buxton, Frye Island, Hollis, Limington and Standish will elect directors for the Maine School Administrative District 6 school board.

With a Buxton residency requirement, voters will have a choice of incumbent Arthur Payeur Jr. or challenger Lindsey Atkinson for a three-year at-large seat. In another contested school race with a Limington residency requirement, SAD 6 towns will pick either incumbent Jeffrey R. Williams or challenger Julie Renee Anderson.

In a state primary runoff, Stavros Mendros and Nathan Carlow are seeking the Republican party nomination as the House District 16 candidate this fall. House District 16 represents Hollis, part of Buxton and part of Saco. The Republican winner will face Democrat David Durrell of Hollis in November. The current House District 16 representative, Donald Marean of Hollis, an independent, has termed out.

The SAD 6 budget validation referendum is expected to come later this summer.

The first statewide referendum question on the July 14 ballot seeks approval of a $15 million bond issue to invest in high-speed internet infrastructure for unserved and underserved areas, to be used to match up to $30 million in federal, private, local or other funds.

The second question seeks approval of a $105 million bond issue to improve highways and bridges statewide and for transportation facilities or equipment related to transit. The bond would be used to match an estimated $275 million in federal and other funding.

In Westbrook, polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. All voters will vote at the Westbrook Community Center Gym at 426 Bridge St. Masks and social distancing are recommended and community center foot traffic will be one way.

Gorham polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. A few changes have been made in locations: Ward 1-1 will vote at the Gorham Middle School, 106 Weeks Road; Ward 1-2, Great Falls Elementary School, 73 Justice Way; and Ward 2, Gorham High School, 41 Morrill Ave.

Buxton voters may cast ballots between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Buxton Town Hall, 185 Portland Road. Hand sanitizer will be available prior to and after voting. Voters who are not part of the same household will need to maintain a 6-foot distance from others and should wear face masks.

“Very few voters will be allowed to enter the building at one time,” Myers said, and added, “A long line of voters is expected at the polls.”

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