RAYMOND — Voters soundly rejected withdrawing from RSU 14 to form its own school district at the ballot box Tuesday.

1,018 voted for withdrawal, while 2,048 voted “no” on the question, or 65% of voters.

A voter casts her ballot at Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond Tuesday morning. Emily Bader / Lakes Region Weekly

This is the second time voters rejected withdrawal, the first in 2015.

Raymond resident Teresa Sadak began circulating a petition to start a withdrawal committee in May 2018, which was approved by voters that year. Tuesday’s vote was on the withdrawal agreement.

A “yes” vote would give the town the go-ahead to leave the Windham-Raymond district and form its own kindergarten through eighth grade district for the 2021-2022 school year.

Opponents of the withdrawal called the “vote yes” campaign a “panic-stricken vote.”

“We firmly believe that Raymond students will have more educational opportunities if we stay in RSU 14,” said Kaitlin LaCasse, one of the organizers of the “Vote No on 1” campaign.

Supporters of the plan say that that RSU 14 operates as two separate entities and that Raymond pays an inequitable amount in taxes to the district.

“Raymond is property-rich. We’re not getting as equitable a share that way,” said Withdrawal Committee member and Selectman Rolf Olsen earlier this year.

Outside of Raymond’s polling location at Jordan Small Middle School Tuesday, it was cold and windy, with the occasional snow flurry falling from the otherwise sunny sky.

Sharon Jorgensen, 75, said that the presidential election was the primary election driving her to the polls, but she was also concerned about the withdrawal.

“I didn’t vote for yes to take over control because it means more money for Raymond to put out and we don’t have it.”

Many of the Raymond voters interviewed by the Lakes Region Weekly said, like Jorgensen, that the presidential election was their primary concern.

“I’m confident. In my choices, anyway,” said Diane Devonshire, 77. “It’s my hope that everyone can pull together regardless of the results.”

Ivy Jordan, 61, said that “everybody needs to do their duty to vote … I don’t think I’ve ever missed (a presidential election). This one was probably the most critical for me to make the vote.”

She, Jorgensen and Devonshire all said that they’ve always voted in-person and felt comfortable coming out to on Election Day with all of the precautions in place.

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