Absentee voting remains one of the easiest and most effective ways for Mainers to participate in the democratic process. This voting method allows all eligible voters to cast a ballot outside a polling place once they request a ballot, which is delivered to them via postal mail. During the 2022 midterm election, at least 250,000 Mainers voted absentee.
Now lawmakers are looking to strengthen this democratic jewel with a new legislative bill that would allow all registered voters to sign up to automatically receive an absentee ballot in the mail each election. Senator Mattie Daughtry of Cumberland recently introduced LD1690: An Act Regarding Ongoing Absentee Voting and Tracking of Absentee Ballots.
This bill would:
Make all Maine voters eligible to receive their absentee ballot in the mail each election automatically without having to request one each time they vote.
Allow all Maine voters who sign up to receive an absentee ballot each election the abililty to track their ballot electronically once it is sent out to them.
Require the Secretary of State to notify all voters who sign up for this program when their ballot has been sent, when their clerk receives their ballot, if their clerk finds a problem with their ballot, if the voter hasn’t returned their ballot in a timely fashion, and when their ballot is cast.
This measure would bolster absentee voting across the state, and encourage civic engagement during election season as advocates continue to push for a permanent list in Maine. We look forward to seeing the passage of LD1690 in the near future.
Visit the state of Maine’s website to learn more about absentee voting.