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Election-Access Advocates Say Maine's Pandemic Voting Went Pretty Smoothly

Maine's first election in the pandemic era went pretty smoothly, thanks in large part to voters' willingness to vote by mail or absentee.

That is the verdict from election-access advocates, including Anna Kellar, executive director of the Maine League of Women Voters.

"The number of absentee ballots that had been received by 3 p.m. today were actually close to breaking the record turnout for a primary set in 2008, based just on absentee ballots alone, not even counting the people who came out in person."

More than 150,000 absentee ballots were returned by mid-afternoon, Kellar says. And, they say, the League and allies will push for ways to make mail-in or instant absentee voting smoother in November, including making sure all postage is prepaid. But, they add, protections for in-person voting must also be secured, to accommodate the need for social distancing.

Correction 4:26 p.m. July 15, 2020: an original version of this post used the incorrect pronouns for Anna Kellar. Maine Public apologizes for the error.