FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 5, 2020
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
Secretary Dunlap releases absentee voting animation, video message for July 14 primary
AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is reaching out to share information with voters ahead of the July 14 Primary and State Referendum Election, as Maine citizens prepare to cast ballots in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Secretary Dunlap is providing the following new resources for voters:
- An animated video explaining the absentee voting process in Maine;
- A video message featuring Secretary Dunlap discussing the upcoming election; and
- Easy-to-see graphic links on the homepage of the Department of the Secretary of State website, quickly connecting voters with the online Absentee Ballot Request service and the printable voter registration card.
“We hope these materials will increase voters’ confidence and understanding of their voting options during this pandemic,” said Secretary Dunlap. “I am encouraging absentee voting for this election, as it will help reduce the possibility of virus exposure for voters and election workers. It’s a method we’ve used for many years, so we know it’s 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,” he said.
These outreach materials seek to inform voters about the changes in place for this election, per Gov. Mills’ executive orders affecting elections (EO #39 and EO #56). Those changes include:
- An expansion of the deadline to submit voter registration applications by mail or third person: Voters have until close of business on July 7. (In-person registration is still available through Election Day.)
- An expansion of the deadline to request an absentee ballot: Clerks will accept requests in person (or by written, signed request submitted in person by a third party) up to and including Election Day. To ensure timely receipt of the ballots, requests made by other means, such as the online form, must be made far enough in advance to allow time for mailing.
- The option for municipal clerks to provide secure drop boxes for absentee ballots.
- Allowing consolidation of polling places up to 15 days prior to Election Day.
- Allowing changes to the location of polling places up to 10 days prior to Election Day.
In addition to online resources, Secretary Dunlap is available to the press and civic organizations to discuss the upcoming election, including a QnA interview on Maine Calling that aired Monday, June 1 and the upcoming Bangor Daily News Events Online: Election Update with Secretary of State Matt Dunlap that will take place at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9.
Any voter with questions about the July 14 election can find more information on the Upcoming Elections page, including a list of candidates who have qualified for the ballot and the two bond questions that will appear on the State Referendum ballot.