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Bill Taggart of Stillwater votes this morning at Highland Park Methodist Church. Polls will remain open until 7 p.m. today to select a Stillwater Board of Education member and to decide $61.5 million in bond issues for two new school buildings and projects districtwide. In the interest of preserving voter privacy, Taggart’s vote was intentionally obscured in this photo.

Payne County Election Board Secretary Alyson Dawson said the election board had seen a heavy turnout for in-person absentee voting for today’s school election.

Dawson said 527 residents had voted in-person absentee Friday and Monday. The figure represents a “much higher turnout” than previous elections, Dawson said.

Stillwater voters cast in-person absentee ballots Friday and Monday for an election today that includes a school board race and a school bond proposal.

The two candidates in the school board race are incumbent Michael Dicks, a professor of agricultural economics at Oklahoma State University, and Casey Ashley, an OSU Physical Plant employee and the president of the Highland Park Elementary PTA.

The bond issue represents $61.5 million in bond proposals that would go to fund the construction of two elementary schools to replace Will Rogers Elementary and Highland Park Elementary. The remainder of the funding generated from the sale of bonds would go toward a number of projects, including maintenance and renovation at all sites around the district, as well as classroom technology, textbooks and band and orchestra instruments.

Polls will remain open until 7 p.m. today. For tonight’s election results and other election coverage, go to www.stwnewspress.com.

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