For Jessica Ward, turning out to vote in Fairfield is about setting a good example for her children.

Ward, carrying her 2-year-old son, Joshua, said it’s important for him to see her voting and learn that it’s important.

“It’s about being a good role model,” she said, adding that for now her son is “just here for the stickers.”

Like Ward, other voters who turned out for the off-year local election in Fairfield and neighboring Oakland said they came out of a sense of civic duty more than because of an opinion about any particular issue.

Ballot clerks in the two towns said voter turnout was small, just as they had expected.

“Normally, we just don’t see a large turnout in these years,” said Janice Porter, Oakland’s town clerk.

Ward, 26, said that as a single mother who attended a community college, it was also important for her to vote in favor of the bond to upgrade the Maine Community College System.

“I went to a community college, and I know there is a need,” she said.

She said she earned her associate degree in mental health at Kennebec Valley Community College and is in the last semester of earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maine at Augusta.

In Oakland, Ronald Fenlason, 74, who said he was on the City Council in 1980, said even though it’s been years since he’s been a part of the city government, he thinks it’s important to weigh in on local issues as a citizen.

“It’s important to still stay involved,” he said.

Dale Hannon, 64, said she thought it was her civic duty to vote in the elections, and she voted no on the state bond issues out of concern about the state’s debt.

Hannon said she was a teacher for 32 years and knows what it’s like to not have enough funding, but she said the state can’t afford the bonds to support the state colleges.

“It’s tough, but you do what you got to do,” she said.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252[email protected]

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