Friday, February 18, 2022

Bellows Statement on Audit and Training Division Inclusion

in Budget Change Package


AUGUSTA — Secretary of State Shenna Bellows released the below statement following the release of Gov. Janet Mills’ change package to the supplemental budget, which includes funding for an Audit and Training Division within the Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions:

“Funding for election audits and training is an important measure to safeguard election integrity. We already know that our town and city clerks run excellent elections – and a formal audit process will only strengthen our elections processes in the future. Dedicated training staff will aid us in providing year-round onboarding and training that is especially critical as we see clerks across the state retiring.

“We’re glad to see strong support for adding an Audit and Training Division, so that Maine can continue to be a national leader in election administration.”

Currently Maine is one of only 6 states which do not conduct post-election audits. The $536,000 in the change package is consistent with the intent of Rep. Nicole Grohoski’s bill L.D. 1155. L.D. 1155 is currently on the Special Appropriations Table, and received a bipartisan, 32-0 roll call vote in the Senate last June.