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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Local residents turn out in large numbers for several hotly contested races and issues - By Michelle Libby


Election polling stations in Windham and Raymond were well attended and citizens were voting for a variety of reasons, according to exit polls. 
 
“It’s our civic responsibility – that’s what makes our country tick,” said one voter about why she came out to vote. 

In Windham there were 7,782 voters, which means 65 percent of registered voters voted.  Many voters, 2,266, chose to vote absentee in Windham. Absentee ballots had to be delivered by 8 p.m. to the town clerk. Four years ago, for the last gubernatorial race, 612 fewer voters voted. This year there were 611 newly registered voters, said Windham town clerk Linda Morrell. 

In the only contested local Windham race, incumbent Thomas Gleason defeated David Lydon.
At the Raymond polls, residents voted 1,324-940 to spend $20,000 to explore what it would cost and look like to disband from RSU14. Sixty percent of voters voted in Raymond for a total of 2,350 including the absentee ballots, according to Raymond town clerk Sue Look. 

In Raymond, Susan Collins, Paul LePage, Chellie Pingree, William Diamond and Michael McClellan won by large margins. In district 67 representative race, Bonnie Titcomb Lewis beat out Susan Austin 292-268 with 31 votes left blank. 

“I came out to vote for Bill Diamond. He always came into my school and that stuck out in my mind,” said Kayla DiRenzo. 

In Windham, Susan Collins, Paul LePage, Chellie Pingree, William Diamond, Mark Bryant and Patrick Corey won their elections. 

Nate Schrock came to vote because of the governor’s race. “I feel like it’s time to move ahead with stuff that’s based in reality. People are ready to work together. There’s been a history of quotes not based in fact that’s gotten people worked up.”

“It’s my civic duty,” said Alexei Popov. “Governor is the most important (race) to me. There’s a lot of competition because I support one side more than the other.” 

New voters took the opportunity to register at the polling station. State Senator Gary Plummer’s granddaughter, Mariah, registered and voted for the first time. 

“I brought my son over to vote for the first time,” said Jim Cannon. “It’s important especially in this election because things are so tight and there are some issues that hit close to home. Minimum wage. Comments by LePage made about transgendered students not to be in our high school.”  

The bond questions in Raymond and Windham went the way the bonds did for the state except question 5, which voters said “no” to money to modernize and expand infrastructure in a biological laboratory. The bond did pass. 

Hannah Poland, voted because of her concern about question 1. “I voted no. It’s been a Maine tradition for a very long time. The bears will take over the population.” 
 
Official results for all Windham races can be found at www.windhammaine.org and Raymond results are at www.raymondmaine.org.






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