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Politics

Dunlap: Election Preparations Continue Despite Gov's Veto Of Funding Bill

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Steve Mistler
/
Maine Public
Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap addresses reporters April 18, 2018, the day after the law court issued an opinion that allows election officials to implement a landmark ranked-choice voting law.

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says ballots are being printed and election preparations are going forward, despite Gov. Paul LePage's veto of additional money needed to conduct the fall election. Dunlap says ballot printing is already underway, and absentee ballots for overseas voters and those in the military will be available this Friday.  The rest of the absentee ballots, he says, will be available a month before the Nov. 6 election.

“In a couple of weeks we will be sending out ballots to the instate absentees, which are due 30 days out. So, we are already printing ballots," he says. "Now it’s a matter of when are our vendors going to get paid?”

Dunlap says he is scrambling to find money to fund the process after House Republicans upheld LePage’s veto.

“Any notion that somehow we are saving money is an absolute fantasy because we are going to be paying interest on this debt," Dunlap says. "Next year, the next Legislature will be throwing good money after bad.”

Dunlap says the practical impact will be that vendors get paid late, with interest, because of the defeat of the more than $300,000 spending bill.