Absentee Ballot Voting 101 + Renee’s Opinion
I have been absentee voting for years. In Maine, you have been able to do this for a while, so most years I take the 60 seconds (or less) to order my ballot and vote this way. Why you ask? I am lazy and getting the polls on the appointed day is not always doable I view voting as my obligation at part of our society. I also feel if I wish to have an opinion I need to have been part of the process.
This year with concerns about crowds and being in public…absentee voting is a viable option. Any registered voter can vote absentee.
This is what you do to get your absentee ballot in Maine you ask for it, then mail it to you, you fill it out, you mail it back before the deadline.
You can request your ballot online at Maine.gov or you can call your city or town’s clerks office and request it be sent right to you. You can request the ballot starting three months before the next voting day (primary: July 14, 2020, and general: November 2, 2020) and you can vote absentee in the city or town clerks office as soon as they are available. You just need to make sure if you are asking for it to be mailed there is enough time to get it to you, fill out, and get it back to your city or town for election day. The ballots for the June (but moved to July because of COVID-19) primary can be requested now.
You can check out what is on the ballot from Maine.gov directly.
Just a side note for voting in-person: if a voter is not registered on the day of the election you can still vote in Maine…here is the deal…while you do not need to present an ID to vote, you will need to show an ID and proof of residence to register to vote.
But what about voter fraud? I did a quick Google search and it is easy to find stories of voter fraud for in-person voting and voting absentee. But is easy to find stories of how voter fraud is rare. SO THIS IS MY OPINION: Has there been voter fraud? Yes. Is it a widespread issue? No. Have there ever been mistakes/problems with the voting machines or hand-counted votes over the years? Yes. Has it been a widespread issue? No. Nothing is perfect…but this seems to be darn close.