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Politics

Gov. Mills Eyes July 14 As New Date For Primary Election

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Willis Ryder Arnold
/
Maine Public

Gov. Janet Mills says Maine will likely push back its June 9 primary election to July 14 to alleviate concerns that in-person voting could further the spread of COVID-19.

Mills says the new date is not yet final, but she hopes the additional time will help election clerks to prepare.

“So we’re looking at ways to encourage absentee ballot to the highest level possible, minimizing in-person voting. We’ll take these each step at a time,” Mills says.

The primary will decide several key races, including the party nominees for congressional contests and the state Legislature.

The secretary of state oversees Maine elections, but when the Legislature adjourned in March, it passed an emergency bill that expanded Gov. Mills’ authority to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

Those temporary powers include moving the primary or changing how it’s conducted.