Your Vote 2020

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Rebecca Conley / Maine Public

Maine's Political Pulse, with Maine Public’s Irwin Gratz and political correspondents Steve Mistler and Mal Leary, is back from hiatus.

Politics have been overshadowed since the coronavirus pandemic reached Maine. The legislature folded up shop early and Gov. Janet Mills exercised her powers to shut down much economic activity, forcing Mainers to stay separated. That appears to have had the desired effect, easing the increased pressure hospitals here were under.

But as the crisis atmosphere has waned, state politics is starting to sink its claws into the situation. Steve Mistler says that’s caused in part by the Federal approach to the pandemic.

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.

Caitlin Troutman / Maine Public

Portland city councilors voted Monday to delay a decision on consolidating the city's 11 voting sites, and to instead launch a last-minute recruiting effort to bring in more poll workers.

Robert F. Bukaty / AP Photo

The Maine Republican Party on Monday submitted more than 68,000 petition signatures to overturn a new law that expands ranked-choice voting to presidential elections.

On the night of Pennsylvania's June 2 primary, things looked bleak for Nina Ahmad.

The former deputy mayor of Philadelphia was running in a crowded Democratic primary field to become the state's auditor general in a race that could be a preview of things to come across the country in November.

If Ahmad won, she'd become the first woman of color to be nominated for an executive leadership position in the state.

But she trailed in the race by tens of thousands of votes on election night. Supporters began reaching out with sympathy.

MAINE PUBLIC ILLUSTRATION / PHOTOS BY MARK VOGELZANG/MAINE PUBLIC AND GAGE SKIDMORE/FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Sara Gideon skipped a televised primary debate Monday night, and Republican U.S. House candidate Eric Brakey says he will also pass on a broadcast debate Wednesday. Some political science scholars say that’s a risk for campaigns, as voters want to see candidates debate the issues.

A coalition of Maine advocacy groups is welcoming an executive order by Gov. Janet Mills that gives Mainers more time to request absentee ballots and submit voter registration applications by mail or third person in advance of the primary and state referendum election on July 14.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Democratic Party is kicking off remote elections for delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

Nati Harnik / AP

More than one-third of all eligible voters are under the age of 39, but historically, far fewer of them actually vote. In 2018, only about 36 percent voted. This year, political parties and advocacy groups are trying to get younger voters engaged through registration drives, but the restrictions of the pandemic have limited the ways in which they can operate.

Maine Encourages Absentee Voting In July Primary Election

May 26, 2020

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s top election official is encouraging people to vote via absentee ballot during the July primary election to limit the exposure that voters and polling workers have to the coronavirus.

Willis Ryder Arnold / Maine Public File

A coalition of diverse groups is launching a major lobbying effort this weekend to get Congress to provide more funds to bolster election security and make it easier to vote.

Morry Gash / AP

As many states, including Maine, prepare to hold their spring — and now summer — primary elections, Congress is weighing another round of relief funding to help them pay for safety equipment and other voting expenses created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Maine Public File

The Maine Voting and Elections Coalition is submitting a petition to Gov. Janet Mills this week asking her to assure that the July primary is as accessible as possible.

Maine Public File

Municipal election officials across the state are exploring options for conducting the July primary elections without many of the poll workers that they have come to depend on. Some workers say they won’t be showing up because of concerns about the coronavirus.

Knocking on doors and meeting personally with voters has long been crucial to political campaigns in Maine. Voters often like to talk to those who want to represent them in the legislature or in Congress. But the coronavirus pandemic has changed how candidates campaign.

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