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For Immediate Release
October 30, 2003
Contact: Chip Gavin
207-626-8406

News Release

Preparations culminating for election
Secretary of State distributes more than 700,000 ballots

AUGUSTA - With the November 4 election just days away, Maine election officials now have prepared and printed more than 700,000 ballots and distributed them to 503 municipalities for use by voters in the state's 627 precincts in Tuesday's election.

"Thousands of people work very hard at the state and local level to make an election happen," said Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky. "Now we need the voters of Maine to turn out, which is what elections are all about. When people participate, it's all worthwhile."

State officials have provided training for more than 500 local election officials since September. Those local officials have in turn trained thousands more election workers and they are continuing to make final preparations in the last days before the election.

The Citizen's Guide to the Referendum Election has been visited on the web more than 21,000 times in just the past three weeks. Thousands more paper copies of the Citizen's Guide also have been distributed, including to every municipality and public library in Maine. The Intent and Content portion of the Citizen's Guide also was published in every daily newspaper in the state. The Secretary of State's main web page for the election has been visited more than 12,000 times.

On Election Day, the Secretary of State will visit communities in seven different counties to thank both voters and dedicated municipal election officials for keeping Maine's democracy strong. He also discussed the election with middle school and college students this week.

"Freedom and democracy are more than ideas,'" said Gwadosky. "Freedom and democracy are elections. Free, fair and real elections. That fact is never more obvious to me than when America has men and women serving in harm's way."

Eligible individuals still may register and then vote in the November 4 referendum election thanks to Maine's election-day registration law. Voters with questions about voting may contact their local election officials, call the State Division of Elections at 207.624.7650, or click "How do I learn about the Nov. 2003 Election" at www.maine.gov.