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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dan A. Gwadosky
October 4, 2002
207-626-8400

Absentee Ballots Now Available at Municipal Offices
Absentee voting is a convenient alternative to voting at the polls "You don't need to be out-of-town or state any other reason"

Augusta--Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, Maine's chief election official, is reminding voters that absentee ballots are currently available from their municipal clerks for the November 5, 2002 general election. And it's easy to vote absentee!

"Maine has a long history of providing its citizens with exceptional ballot access," Secretary Gwadosky said. "We have allowed same day voter registration for over 25 years and this is one of many reasons for our high voter turnout. Maine voters also have the opportunity to request an absentee ballot 'no reason' required," continued Secretary Gwadosky. "Voters do not have to be out-of-town or state any other reason to vote absentee. This is a convenient alternative to voting at the polls."

Any registered voter may obtain and cast an absentee ballot. No specific reason must be given to receive and cast an absentee ballot. Voters may contact their local municipal clerk by mail or telephone to request an application for an absentee ballot. An individual may also vote absentee in person at the clerk's office. Absentee ballots are available now and through Election Day. Those people wanting to vote absentee, but who are not currently registered in their municipality, may also contact their municipal clerk to register to vote when requesting an absentee ballot.

Maine law allows an immediate family member to obtain an absentee ballot on the voter's behalf by making a request in writing. Ballots that are obtained in this manner do not require witnesses, unless the voter received assistance when marking the ballot.

Anyone who wants to make a request by mail should do so as soon as possible to ensure the timely receipt and return of the absentee ballot. Completed absentee ballots must be received by the clerk before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day, November 5, 2002.

Voter Registration up to and including Election Day

Maine law allows individuals to register to vote right up to and including Election Day. Registration in the 9 business days before the election and on Election Day must be completed in person at the registrar's office.

Anyone wanting more information on absentee ballots or voter registration may contact their municipal clerk or the Division of Elections at 624-7650 or visit the Secretary of State's web site at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/.

Information on Referendum Questions Available on Web

The Secretary of State's web site also provides information on the three referenda questions on the ballot in the Maine Citizens Guide to the Referendum Election at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/coming.htm. Two bond questions and one Constitutional amendment will be on the referendum ballot on November 5, 2002.