Radio Address – 8/28/20

Senator Brad Farrin Discusses Changes in Voting for November 2020


Like everything else in our lives, it seems, the COVID-19 pandemic will change the way we participate in elections this year.

Hello, I am Senator Brad Farrin of Norridgewock.

With all of the safety guidelines and restrictions in place to protect people from the virus, standing in line at polling places is not the best option for everyone.

To avoid exposure to the virus, it is expected that more people will vote via absentee ballot this year than in any previous election.

This November 3rd, we will vote for President of the United States, one of our two U.S. Senators, both of our members of Congress and all of Maine’s State Senators and State Representatives.

As of right now, there is one referendum questions on the ballot pertaining to rank choice voting for the Presidential election.

The first thing to remember about elections is that you must be registered to vote.

You can get a registration form from your town clerk. If you complete and mail in your voter registration form and want to vote absentee, the registration form must arrive at the Town Office by October 19.

Maine allows voters to register on the same day as the election but only in person.
Go to the Website of Maine’s Secretary of State at www.maine.gov/sos. Down the page a bit, you will find a link titled “Resources for the upcoming election.” Almost everything you need to know will be on this page or you can find it via a link on the page. Here, you will find instructions on completing your application for voter registration.

If you are already registered, or once you complete the registration process you can plan on voting as you always have on the day of the election. This year that’s Tuesday November 3rd.
If you would rather not go to your local polling place on Election Day, you can request an absentee ballot.
Any request for an absentee ballot should be made no less than 15 days prior to November 3rd and should be returned to your town office at least a week before the election to be sure the ballot gets processed in time.

As a reminder, you will need to have it in well before Halloween arrives on October 31st.
The link at www.maine.gov/sos includes a link titled “Online Absentee Ballot Request Service.”
Clicking there will take you to a page that will help you apply for your absentee ballot.
If you are a voter with a disability that makes it difficult for you to use a paper ballot, you can request an accessible ballot by clicking on another link at that page.

Also, if you are or know someone who is a member of the Uniformed Service or you are a Maine resident living or visiting overseas, you can use the link on that page to request an absentee ballot.
Again, go to www.maine.gov/sos and look for the link to “Resources for the Upcoming Election.”
You can also contact your town clerk at the town office, and they should be able to answer your questions.

Keep in mind that September begins this coming Tuesday and nearly all of the voting deadlines occur in October, so time is short, and the election is closer than you may realize.

So…

First, make sure you are or get registered to vote.

Second, plan on voting in person on November 3rd or apply for your absentee ballot through your local town office, or by going to www.maine.gov/sos.

Third, if you vote absentee, get your ballot to your town clerk at least a week before the November 3rd election day.

If all else fails, remember that you can still go to your polling place on election day, register and vote all at once.

Again, I am Senator Brad Farrin of District 3. And remember, even though it may seem more difficult this year, it is all of our responsibility to participate.

Have a wonderful weekend.

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