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Bill Would Automatically Send Absentee Ballots To Maine Voters Who've Gotten Them In Past Elections

Maine would join a growing number of states that automatically provide absentee ballots to voters under a measure before the state Legislature.

Under current law, any eligible Maine voter can request an absentee ballot. Under a new proposal before lawmakers, voters that have requested an absentee ballot in past elections would automatically receive one in the mail.

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows supports the bill as a way to make voting easier and more accessible.

“Fifteen states have in place some form of ongoing absentee voting and have done so with appropriate security measures in place,” she says.

The measure was opposed by a group representing municipal clerks and by the Maine Municipal Association because of the additional mailing costs.

“You will be requiring municipalities to conduct a new task, and there is a cost associated with administering the election,” says Kate Dufour with the MMA.