November 3, 2023

Election Day nears for candidates, referendums

By Ed Pierce
Polls will be open on Election Day, Tuesday,
Nov. 7, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Windham
and Raymond. Windham residents vote in
the Auxiliary Gym at Windham High School
while Raymond residents vote at Jordan-Small
Middle School. FILE PHOTO

After weeks of campaigning, Election Day in Windham and Raymond on Tuesday, Nov. 7 will determine numerous community and statewide issues and which municipal candidates on the ballot will be sworn into office for the Windham Town Council and RSU 14 Board of Directors representing Windham.

On the ballot in Windham is a referendum establishing procedures for a recall of elected municipal and school board officials. Voters in Windham and Raymond will also vote on a referendum to approve construction of a new Windham Raymond Middle School.

The total cost of the new school is estimated to be $171 million with the state of Maine picking up $131.7 million of that cost, or 76.8 percent of that amount. That leaves 23.20 percent, or about $31.8 million remaining with voters in Windham asked to OK gradually funding 80 percent of what’s left or $25.496 million. Raymond voters will be asked to approve gradually funding 20 percent of the remaining cost or about $6.374 million.
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In races for three-year terms to serve on the Windham Town Council, incumbent Brett Jones is unopposed for a seat representing the East District, while incumbent Mark Morrison is facing a challenge from write-in candidate Zac Eklund.

Two three-year seats on the RSU 14 Board of Directors will be filled from a field of four candidates,
including Justin Whynot, Marge Govoni, Joe Kellner, and Dawn Miller. Kellner, Miller and Whynot are first-time candidates, but Govoni has served on the school board previously.

Voters statewide will decide on four citizens’ initiatives and four constitutional amendments that will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot: 

QUESTION 1: Do you want to bar some quasi-governmental entities and all consumer-owned electric utilities from taking on more than $1 billion in debt unless they get statewide voter approval?
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QUESTION 2: Do you want to ban foreign governments and entities that they own, control, or influence from making campaign contributions or financing communications for or against candidates or ballot questions?

QUESTION 3: Do you want to create a new power company governed by an elected board to acquire and operate existing for-profit electricity transmission and distribution facilities in Maine? 

QUESTION 4: Do you want to require vehicle manufacturers to standardize on-board diagnostic systems and provide remote access to those systems and mechanical data to owners and independent repair facilities?

QUESTION 5: Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to change the time period for judicial review of the validity of written petitions from within 100 days from the date of filing to within 100 business days from the date of filing of a written petition in the office of the Secretary of State, with an exception for petitions filed within 30 calendar days before or after a general election?
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QUESTION 6: Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to require that all of the provisions of the Constitution be included in the official printed copies of the Constitution prepared by the Secretary of State?

Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision requiring a circulator of a citizen's initiative or people's veto petition to be a resident of Maine and a registered voterin Maine, requirements that have been ruled unconstitutional in federal court?

QUESTION 8: Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to remove a provision prohibiting a person under guardianship for reasons of mental illness from voting for Governor, Senators, and Representatives, which the United States District Court for the District of Maine found violates the United States Constitution and federal law?

Polling places will be open Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Jordan-Small Middle School for Raymond residents and from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Windham High School Auxiliary Gym for Windham residents. <

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