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Polling places packed with voters

CARIBOU, Maine — By 9:30 a.m. on election day, nearly 300 Caribou and Connor Township residents had voted at the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center. Polling places in other central Aroostook communities, such as Woodland, also saw a steady stream of voters throughout the morning.

Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin said her goal for this election is to surpass the numbers they received during the last gubernatorial election, and that the city has already done so in terms of absentee ballots.

“We processed 690 absentee votes on Saturday,” she said at roughly 9:30 a.m., “and have had 271 voters go through, so we are right around 1,000 right now.”

Farrin added that the recreation center had seen a steady line since the polls opened at 8 a.m.

In addition to the statewide and regional questions and races, Caribou voters were asked to decide local races for City Council, RSU 39 school board, and Jefferson Cary Memorial Hospital Fund board, as well as a non-binding local referendum question.

Four candidates are vying for two three-year terms on Caribou City Council — Thomas Ayer, Christine Lister, Christopher Lydon, and former City Councilor Jody Smith. Betheny Anderson and Betty Hatch are respectively running unopposed for the school and hospital boards.

Caribou’s referendum question asks if voters would favor a one half mill increase in property taxes in order to provide tax relief to senior citizens who are longtime residents and/or living on “low or very low” income.

Voters in Limestone also will decide if they wish to leave RSU 39, a school unit that shares resources between Caribou, Limestone, and Stockholm. If residents vote in favor of withdrawal, Limestone taxpayers will be solely responsible for funding their school, however, they also will gain more control over education in their town.

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