Sen. Scott Cyrway discusses voting procedures for this year’s election
Like everything else in our lives, it seems, the COVID-19 pandemic will change the way we participate in elections this year.
I am Senator Scott Cyrway of Kennebec County.
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.
It is expected that more people will vote via absentee ballot this year than in any previous election.
You should be aware that absentee ballots will be available the week of October 5. That’s just a week from this coming Tuesday. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are available.
In the election of 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.
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.
If you would like to vote early you can do so at your town office. If you would like to vote by absentee ballot, you can request one well in advance, but you should make this request no less than 15 days prior to November 3rd and return it to your town office at least a week before the election to be sure the ballot gets processed in time.
The Website www.maine.gov/sos includes a link titled “Online Absentee Ballot Request Service.”
You can apply for your absentee ballot by clicking there.
You can also contact your town clerk at the town office, and they should be able to answer your questions.
October begins this coming Thursday and nearly all of the voting deadlines occur in October, so time is short, and the election is closer than you may realize.
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 completed ballot to your town clerk at least a week before the November 3rd Election Day.
Remember that you can still go to your polling place on Election Day, register, and vote all at once.
Again, I am Senator Scott Cyrway of District 16.
And remember, even though it may seem more difficult this year, it is all of our responsibility to participate.
Have a wonderful weekend.