Governor Moves to Ensure Utility Workers Responding to Power Outage Can Vote
November 4, 2014
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531
AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today signed an emergency proclamation to allow utility workers restoring power in Northern and Eastern Maine to vote remotely, as many of them are unable to get to their respective voting polls today.
The proclamation enables only utility workers who are restoring power due to the weekend snow storm to vote remotely, similarly to how overseas citizens and military personnel vote.
“Voting is our civic responsibility and right. This proclamation ensures that hard working Mainers called away from home to restore power to our citizens are able to remain on the job and still have an opportunity to vote,” said Governor LePage.
The Proclamation language is as follows:
State of Maine
Governor’s Emergency Proclamation for Electricity Restoration Efforts and Absentee Voting Procedures
WHEREAS, the State of Maine is experiencing the effects of heavy wet snow and high winds that occurred on November 2, 2014 and have impacted transportation routes and put thousands of Maine homes and businesses out of power; and
WHEREAS, utility workers may have to work many hours to restore power beyond November 3, 2014; and
WHEREAS, the Governor declared a State of Emergency on November 3, 2014 to facilitate a waiver grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pursuant to 49 CFR part 390.23 to allow relief from 49 CFR parts 390 through 399, specifically 49 CFR part 395 Hours of Service of Drivers, and subject to the limitations described below, and therefore allow drivers of electrical line repair vehicles to operate additional hours; and
WHEREAS, Tuesday November 4, 2014 is Election Day in Maine; and
WHEREAS, power restoration crews may be working in areas far from their communities of residence and may not have the ability to exercise their right to vote at their designated polling place; and
WHEREAS, the declaration of a State of Emergency will enable the Secretary of State to act administratively to facilitate voting by civilian registered voters who are utility workers responding to and offering assistance to the areas in which the State of Emergency has been declared;
NOW THEREFORE, I, Paul R. LePage, Governor of the State of Maine, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of Maine, find that these conditions constitute a civil emergency under 37-B M.R.S.A. section 742, and for the purpose pursuant to 21-A M.R.S.A. section 663 as it applies to utility workers, do hereby declare that a State of Emergency within Maine as of November 2, 2014 through November 9, 2014.