Every year, Scarborough voters elect members of the Town Council, School Board, and Sanitary District. This year we will be electing two members of the Town Council for 3-year terms and one member for a 1-year term, along with three members of the School Board for 3-year terms and two trustee members of the Sanitary District. Additionally, there are two local bond items and the CMP corridor referendum with their own ballots.

Municipal elections don’t get the publicity that presidential elections get, but their impact on citizens is more direct. Scarborough has over 19,000 registered voters — Democrats, Republicans, Green and Unenrolled. In general election years, Scarborough voter turnout is upwards of 75 percent. In off-year elections the turnout is much lower, but the results are just as important to Scarborough residents. The same is true of our school budget referendum in June; just 8 percent of the registered voters cast ballots on this year’s school budget.

Scarborough makes it easy to vote in any election with flexible voting times and methods. You can vote in person on Nov. 2 (Election Day) at the High School Alumni Gym from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m; Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 for special circumstances absentee voting; or Oct. 4 through Oct. 30 ‘No-excuse’ absentee ballot by mail-in ballot or in-person at the Town Hall. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. on Oct. 30 and ballots must be returned by the close of the polls on Nov.  2. Every election is determined by those that vote. Let’s come together and exercise our right and responsibility to vote at this year’s municipal election on Nov. 2.

Sometimes, instead of using a formal ballot vote to determine a specific outcome, elected officials conduct surveys to gauge the preferences of the residents in order to make informed decisions. Scarborough is currently conducting a community survey, beginning with the mailing of 4,200 paper surveys to randomly selected households in town. The survey may arrive in your mailbox and will have the Town logo on the envelope and a postage paid return addressed envelope. By taking 10-15 minutes of your time to complete the survey you can have a positive impact on future policy decisions.

You will be able to give your Importance/Satisfaction rating on a variety of topics, including the public library, schools, growth, traffic and transportation, environmental topics as well as our parks and beaches and many more. Understanding your satisfaction with Town services, departments, and issues is critical to helping us better serve you and will inform us of areas for improvement. We value your opinion and greatly appreciate your willingness to share your feedback for the benefit of our community.

Our survey consultant, ETC Institute, will collect and process the anonymous surveys and provide a final report with key findings available on the Town website for all to review. Thank you in advance for contributing your feedback that will help us continue to make the Town of Scarborough a vibrant place to live, work, and explore. Subscribing to the Scarborough Email newsletter on the Town website (click Stay Connected in the menu) is one way to track the progress of the survey and participate in the online survey (shortly following the mailing phase) if you do not receive a mailed paper copy.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Scarborough Town Council.

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