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.