Voters in four Somerset County towns with local referendum questions have until Thursday to pick up absentee ballots for the November election.

Thursday is also the statewide deadline for absentee voters to request ballots either through their municipal offices or through the Maine Department of the Secretary of State’s election division.

Somerset County towns that have local referendum questions on the ballot include Anson, Cambridge, Jackman and Moose River. The only Somerset County town with a contested municipal election is Fairfield, where three candidates are vying for two Town Council seats.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov.3.

In Anson, the referendum items include questions on whether the town should enact an ordinance for the recall of elected officials and whether the position of tax collector should be made an appointive one.

The recall ordinance was drafted this fall after Tax Collector Claudia Viles was indicted on 13 counts of tax-related fraud stemming from an investigation by the Office of the Maine Attorney General into the disappearance of more than $400,000 in excise tax money.

Provisions in the ordinance include that the recall be initiated by a petition signed by at least 10 percent of the number of votes cast in Anson in the last gubernatorial election, that the petition be certified by the town clerk or deputy town clerk and that an election by secret ballot be ordered for residents to vote on questions of recall.

The recall ordinance could not be used to remove officials in the first or last 90 days of their term. It also would not apply to school board members, a provision that Anson Administrative Assistant Tammy Murray said is related to state law.

The second local referendum question in Anson will ask voters whether to make the position of tax collector an appointive one rather than an elective one. Chairman of the Board of Selectmen Arnold Luce has said in the past that the question does not stem from the investigation into the missing tax funds, but rather is something that the town has been considering for a long time because it would provide more oversight over the position.

The only elective positions in Anson currently are selectmen, school board members, tax collector and the local water and sanitary district trustees.

In Cambridge, voters are being asked to consider five local liquor law questions that would expand when and where alcohol can be sold in town.

In Jackman and Moose River, voters are being asked to consider a $2.27 million budget for School Administrative District 12. The referendum marks the fourth time voters in the district are being asked to consider a budget for the 2015-2016 school year. The $2.27 million figure, which includes $1.2 million to be raised by taxpayers, represents a $101,331 decrease from the amount the district originally asked voters to approve, said Forest Hills Consolidated School principal Denise Plante. It is 3.69 percent greater than the 2014-2015 school budget.

Absentee ballots must be picked up by the close of business hours Thursday, Oct. 29, in each of the three towns and are due by the close of polls on Election Day.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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