Here’s What You Need to Know About Absentee Voting For Maine’s Upcoming Primary & Election Season
Maine's Primary and State Referendum Election is coming up on July 14th, and the State is encouraging Maine citizens to vote absentee.
The Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, issued a press release on Friday, June 5th stating the use of absentee voting is another way to try to keep Maine citizens safe and to COVID-19 from spreading in the communities across the state.
Secretary Dunlap states in the press release, "I am encouraging absentee voting for this election, as it will help reduce the possibility of virus exposure for voters and election workers. Its a method weve used for many years, so we know its a secure and safe way to cast your ballot. In-person voting and Election Day voter registration will also continue to be available, to ensure that every eligible voter can participate, and virus prevention measures will be in place at polling sites."
Originally, we were supposed to have this election on June 9th, but due to Governor Mills' April 10th executive order in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the date was pushed to July 14th for this year's Primary and State Referendum Election.
It is important to note that in-person registration and vote casting will still be available for voting day on Election Day, July 14th.
There are measures being taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 during this election that we should all take note of. One thing is being able to drop off your absentee ballot at your local town office through a secure drop box to avoid personal contact. Also, consolidation of polling places can occur up to 15 days prior to Election Day and where the polling places could change up to 10 days prior to Election Day.
If you plan to get things done ahead of time, here's what you'll need to do:
Registering to vote
If you are not registered to vote, you will need to fill out a voter registration application and have it filled out and received by July 7th, a week prior to Election Day.
- Visiting your local town office and filling out a voter registration card there. You can also visit local State and Federal Social Service agencies and fill out a voter registration card there, too.
- Download, print and fill out the application online. You can download a PDF version or a Word document to print out.
- Call your local town office to have them mail you a card.
- Complete your card and be sure it's to your town office by the close of business on July 7th at your local town office.
For information about registering to vote in Maine, check out the 'State of Maine Voter Guide' on the Maine.gov website.
If you are already registered to vote in your town, you can vote absentee. This means you can vote prior to Election Day and avoid long lines or large crowds that makes having Election Day during this pandemic difficult from a public health standpoint
Request an absentee ballot
- Go to your local town office. Town clerks can accept requests in person (or by written, signed request submitted in person by a third party) up to and including Election Day.
- Online - click this link to take you to the State of Maine 'Maine Absentee Ballot Request' web page
*NOTE- be sure you request your ballot with enough time to be able to mail your ballot.
Delivering your absentee ballot:
- By mail - be sure to request your ballot with enough time for your ballot to be filled out and mailed back to your town office by Election Day at 8 PM.
- In person- There is an option for town clerks to receive your absentee ballot by dropping off your ballot into a secure drop box.
You can check out more information about what's being voted on, who is up for election and more at the 'Upcoming Elections' page on the Maine.gov website.