Requesting an Absentee Ballot (return to top)
- How do I request an absentee ballot?
The easiest way to request an absentee ballot is to use the online Absentee Ballot Request Service.
- Can I send my request through email?
- Do I have to submit my request electronically?
No. The PDF version of the Federal Post Card Application may be pre-filled, printed, signed and sent by mail or fax.
- Can I send my request to the municipal clerk in my home town?
No. All requests from UOCAVA voters are processed centrally by the Elections Division.
- How will I know that my request was received?
If you used the online Absentee Request Service, the system will generate automated notifications to the email address you entered when you submitted your request. You will receive a confirmation email when you submit the request, when the Elections Division processes your request, and, if you opted for electronic delivery of your ballot, when absentee ballots become available.
Receiving the Ballot (Top of page)
- Will my absentee ballot be emailed to me?
Absentee ballots will not be sent using email. If you selected electronic delivery of your ballot, you will be sent emailed instructions on how to log into the online system to retrieve a PDF version of your absentee ballot.
- What is a PDF ballot?
A PDF (portable document format) version of the absentee ballot is an electronic document containing an image of the ballot and may not be edited. To view and print a PDF file, you will need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer. This is a free download.
- Do I have to receive the ballot electronically?
No, you may choose to have your absentee ballot mailed to you. However, depending on the speed of the local postal service, you may not receive the ballot early enough to return it in time to be counted on Election Day.
Completing and Returning the Ballot (Top of page)
- This ballot looks different than what I would get at the voting place. Is this a real ballot?
Yes, the ballot that you received is an official Maine ballot. It has a different appearance because it was designed and created to be delivered as a PDF file and printed on standard 8 ½ x 11 paper.
- Why do I have to complete and sign an affidavit?
The affidavit is necessary to verify that the person submitting the completed ballot is actually the voter. Your signature on the affidavit is compared to the signature on file with your voter registration records.
- Will my affidavit be attached to my ballot when my vote is counted?
No. Affidavits are used to ensure that the voter is a properly registered UOCAVA voter when the ballot is returned. However, the utmost care is taken to protect the privacy of your vote when the election official opens the envelope and separates the affidavit from the ballot. Please insert the included “privacy sheet” between the affidavit and your ballot when returning them to the Elections Division.
- When I downloaded my electronic ballot, you included an “envelope facing”. What is this used for?
By attaching the “envelope facing” to a standard #10 business envelope (4 ⅛ x 9 ½ inches) you ensure that the postal service expedites your return mail so that your ballot is received in a timely manner. Also, you will not be charged postage as long as the envelope is deposited in the U.S. Mail.
- Will I be notified that my absentee ballot was received?
You will not be automatically notified, but you may send an email to UOCAVA.CEC@maine.gov or check the absentee ballot tracking system.
- How do I return my voted ballot?
Follow the instructions provided to you with your ballot. You can return your ballot by mail or electronically (as an attachment to an email).
Deadlines (Top of page)
- When does my ballot have to be sent back in order to be counted?
As long as your ballot is received by the Elections Division by 8:00 p.m. EST on Election Day, then your ballot will be counted.
- When will ballots be available?
Ballots must be available at least 45 days before Election Day.
- What is the deadline to be registered to vote?
Maine voters may register at any time, including on Election Day. If you are a UOCAVA voter and have not yet registered, please contact the Elections Division at 1-888-VOTESME or UOCAVA.CEC@maine.gov. You must register to vote and request an absentee ballot by 5:00 p.m. on Election Day if you want to participate in that election. You can also download a voter registration application from our information page for Uniformed Service & Overseas (UOCAVA) Voters. Instructions for completing and returning the application are available on that page.