SACO — Residents in wards 4 and 5 can now get nomination petitions  to run for Saco City Council in the Nov. 8 election.

Election Day may seem like a long way off, but the nomination process starts early — papers became available from the City Clerk’s Office Aug. 1. They must be returned to the clerk’s office by 4 p.m. on Sept. 9. Signatures of 35 registered voters from the ward in which they are seeking office are required in order for a candidate’s name to be placed on the ballot.

Michael Burman, a psychology professor at the University of New England, is the incumbent for ward 4. He was appointed to the seat in December 2020 to fill the unexpired term of Lynn Copeland, who was elected a month earlier to the Maine House of Representatives.

Philip Hatch, who represents ward 5, was appointed in April 2021 to fill the remainder of a term that became vacant in February that year at the abrupt resignation of Alan Minthorn. Hatch operates a commercial credit training service and worked for a number of financial institutions before opening his own business.

Voters may also be casting ballots on changes to the Saco Charter. City Clerk Michele Hughes said the council is in the process of discussing potential amendments, which should be finalized at the Aug. 22 City Council meeting.

Absentee ballots are expected to be available around Oct. 11. People may pick them up at Saco City Hall, call the office at 284-4831 to have them mailed, or make other arrangements.

On Election Day, all Saco voters will be casting their ballots at Thornton Academy Linnell Gymnasium, 438 Main St. Hughes noted that the city is no longer conducting Election Day voting at the Parks & Recreation Building on Franklin Street.

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