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Early Voting in Maine
In other states, the term early voting is often used to indicate absentee voting; especially when absentee voting is done in person in the office of an election official. However, the Maine Secretary of State considers the term early voting to describe a time period before an election during which voters have the opportunity to cast a ballot at a designated voting place within their municipality, in the same manner as on Election Day. This is a different process than the in-person absentee voting that Maine currently allows.
In 2005, the 122nd Maine Legislature directed the Secretary of State to design a pilot program for early voting. Since that time, the Secretary of State, with assistance from the Legislature, the Office of the Attorney General and municipal clerks, has studied early voting to determine the feasibility and appropriate procedure to adopt early voting for Maine’s statewide elections.
The Secretary of State has issued three reports regarding early voting. The first report, in 2007, describes the results of a study of early voting and outlined the pilot program to be implemented in 3 municipalities for the November 2007 Referendum Election. The second report, issued in 2008, describes the success of the pilot program and the issues to be addressed to allow adoption of early voting as a statewide program. The third report, issued January 2010, describes the successful pilot conducted in 9 municipalities for the November 2009 Referendum Election, and suggests the next steps that the Legislature may want to consider in adopting Early Voting for future elections.
Early Voting Survey: Overall Responses
Early Voting Survey: Absentee Issues
Early Voting Survey: Early Voting Issues
Report of Absentee Ballots Voting in Person
Appendix E - Summary of Other States' Early Voting Laws, and Additional Information
Summary of Other States that Allow Early Processing of Absentee Ballots (before Election Day)
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