absentee ballots

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is allowing voters to track their absentee ballots online.

Maine Public File

Voting rights groups are pushing the state to take further steps to ease Mainers' ability to get their votes counted.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press

Maine Gov. Janet Mills is taking steps she says will allow Mainers to vote safely in the November election amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

An extraordinarily high number of ballots — more than 550,000 — have been rejected in this year's presidential primaries, according to a new analysis by NPR.

That's far more than the 318,728 ballots rejected in the 2016 general election and has raised alarms about what might happen in November when tens of millions of more voters are expected to cast their ballots by mail, many for the first time.

David Sharp / AP Images

Several blind and visually impaired voters have filed a federal lawsuit over their inability to independently mark paper absentee ballots in Maine.

Requests for absentee ballots in Maine’s July primary are already over 71,000. That’s double the number from two years ago, when both major parties had primary elections in the race for governor.

PORTLAND, Maine - The deadline is drawing near to request absentee ballots ahead of the Maine election.

Robert F. Bukaty / Maine Public

Maine elections officials are reporting a significant spike in the number of requests for absentee ballots. In fact, it’s possible that more than one-third of all ballots cast next week will be absentee.

Election day isn't until next Tuesday, Nov. 6, but there are a couple important deadlines for voters later this week.

Online absentee ballot are now available for Maine voters for the November election.

AUGUSTA, Maine - There are growing indications that when the voting is all over Tuesday night, Mainers will set a new record for turnout.

By Thursday evening's deadline, nearly 258,000 voters had requested absentee ballots, and more than 218,000 had filled them out.  

University of Maine Political Science Professor Mark Brewer says that signals a record-setting turnout this election.

“The number of people who have already not only requested absentee ballots at this point, but submitted them at this point, is staggering," he says. "Those are huge numbers.”

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine voters are taking advantage of the state's absentee ballot law and casting votes before election day. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says this year could set a record.

“Right now we have had about just shy of 210,000 absentee ballots requested," Dunlap says. "We expect that number to go up quite a bit in the next few days.”

About 163,000 Maine voters have already cast their ballots. That’s more than used the process in 2014, but short of the record-setting 2008 presidential election, where nearly 237,000 Mainers used the absentee process.

AUGUSTA, Maine - State election officials have sent out a clarification about when Maine voters can get, and submit, new absentee ballots. This follows yesterday's announcement by independent gubernatorial candidate Elliot Cutler that, while he was not withdrawing from the race for the Blaine House, his supporters should feel free to vote for one of his opponents it they don't believe Cutler can win.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Election Day is still a week and a half away, but many Mainers have already cast their votes. Absentee balloting has been open since Oct. 5 - earlier for voters living overseas.

Maine's "no excuse" absentee balloting has been in place since 1999. Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says the state's voting policies have a very positive impact on turnout.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Registered Democrats and Republicans in Maine are receiving fliers in the mail from both party headquarters urging them to fill out absentee ballot applications for next month's election. Although the results are confidential, the response to that mailing does offer some insight into the level of voter enthusiasm for party candidates.