York Town Clerk, Mary-Anne Szeniawski, points to areas in the office concerning absentee ballots as well as other voting material in this May 2015 file photo. Credit: Deb Cram | The York Weekly

YORK, Maine — Town Clerk Mary-Anne Szeniawski is asking residents to consider voting by absentee ballot in this May’s election, for reasons that have to do with both logistics and ease of voting, as the ballot itself is 11 pages long.

Key for people to know, she said, the York High School prom takes place the same day as elections, Saturday, May 18, with the grand march in the auditorium from 2:30-3:30 p.m. While voting is in the high school gym, she said, there is likely to be a problem parking before, during and immediately after the march.

A car wash is also taking place that morning, although it is set up closer to Webber Road, she said. There are always a few spaces reserved for voting, including handicapped spaces. While she always encourages voters to sit down in the comfort of their home and vote absentee, she said this year there are additional reasons to consider that.

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She said she does expect a heavier turnout this year than for the past several town election cycles — primarily because of “a few hot button issues” like the nonbinding vote on the Davis property and Question 4 on the special ballot, which would remove language from the harbor ordinance that has the effect of limiting dock lengths on the York River.

“This is my gut reaction. Usually social issues are what bring people out,” she said.

Absentee ballots became available April 18, and in just the first four days alone, 240 absentee ballots have already been issued. “And there is another month to take them out, more or less,” she said. People can come in and pick up their ballots or they can have the ballot mailed to them. Family members can also pick up ballots for someone who for some reason is unable to make it to town hall.

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Information on absentee ballots and on registering to vote is available on the town clerk’s page of the town website.

Ballots can be returned up to and including on Election Day. Szeniawski is asking people if possible to return them prior to May 15, which is the last day absentee ballots will be issued. She said staff and volunteers will take May 16 to process absentees, “and I hope we will have as many as we can by then. We don’t want to rush anyone, but if they are aware of how they’re going to vote, it would help the process to have them in before the 15th,” she said.

She also said if anyone is interested in volunteering to help with elections to call her at (207) 363-1000 or email her at mszeniawski@yorkmaine.org.

Voting takes place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, in the York High School gymnasium.