Maine voters urged by both major parties to vote absentee as ballot requests surge

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office said 150,000 voters have already requested an absentee ballot for the November election, and that number is expected to triple by Election Day.With a surging two-thirds of Maine voters likely to cast an absentee ballot and sagging confidence in timely mail delivery, the message is: plan ahead and consider dropping off your ballot in-person.Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins told constituents in a Facebook video that they will have the option to drop off absentee ballots at City Hall in a newly installed steel drop box.The drop boxes are allowed under an executive order issued last month by Gov. Janet Mills.With Maine’s letter sorting capacity reduced by machine removals, the postal service is warning voters in flyers: “If you plan to vote by mail, plan ahead…start today. Give yourself and your election officials ample time to complete the process.”At a recent Republican Party event headlined by former Gov. Paul LePage, absentee ballot applications were given to attendees.”President Trump voted by absentee ballot. He is encouraging Mainers to vote by absentee ballot,” Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage said.The day after the Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump’s son in a robocall urged voters in Maine and 12 other states to request them.The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, voiced similar robocalls sent to Maine voters this past weekend. “Absentee voting is a safe and secure way to cast your vote with all the same requirements as in-person voting,” the call said.The robocalls might sound contrary to hearing the president bash mail-in voting as ripe for fraud. Savage said that critique applies only to states now choosing to send absentee ballots to all registered voters, whether they request them or not, like California and Nevada.”States that have been doing mail in voting for a long time, over the course of several election cycles, have found a way to make a system work. These states that just a few weeks or a couple months ago decided they’re going to do this – they have no hope of doing that the right way,” Savage said.So far in Maine, absentee ballot requests in Maine by registered Democrats outpace requests by Republicans.Savage said that is normal because Republicans typically prefer to vote in person.

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office said 150,000 voters have already requested an absentee ballot for the November election, and that number is expected to triple by Election Day.

With a surging two-thirds of Maine voters likely to cast an absentee ballot and sagging confidence in timely mail delivery, the message is: plan ahead and consider dropping off your ballot in-person.

Advertisement

Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins told constituents in a Facebook video that they will have the option to drop off absentee ballots at City Hall in a newly installed steel drop box.

The drop boxes are allowed under an executive order issued last month by Gov. Janet Mills.

With Maine’s letter sorting capacity reduced by machine removals, the postal service is warning voters in flyers: “If you plan to vote by mail, plan ahead…start today. Give yourself and your election officials ample time to complete the process.”

At a recent Republican Party event headlined by former Gov. Paul LePage, absentee ballot applications were given to attendees.

“President Trump voted by absentee ballot. He is encouraging Mainers to vote by absentee ballot,” Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage said.

The day after the Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump’s son in a robocall urged voters in Maine and 12 other states to request them.

The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, voiced similar robocalls sent to Maine voters this past weekend.

“Absentee voting is a safe and secure way to cast your vote with all the same requirements as in-person voting,” the call said.

The robocalls might sound contrary to hearing the president bash mail-in voting as ripe for fraud. Savage said that critique applies only to states now choosing to send absentee ballots to all registered voters, whether they request them or not, like California and Nevada.

“States that have been doing mail in voting for a long time, over the course of several election cycles, have found a way to make a system work. These states that just a few weeks or a couple months ago decided they’re going to do this – they have no hope of doing that the right way,” Savage said.

So far in Maine, absentee ballot requests in Maine by registered Democrats outpace requests by Republicans.

Savage said that is normal because Republicans typically prefer to vote in person.