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Early Voting in Maine

In other states, the term early voting is often used to indicate absentee voting; especially when absentee voting is done in person in the office of an election official. However, the Maine Secretary of State considers the term early voting to describe a time period before an election during which voters have the opportunity to cast a ballot at a designated voting place within their municipality, in the same manner as on Election Day. This is a different process than the in-person absentee voting that Maine currently allows.

In 2005, the 122nd Maine Legislature directed the Secretary of State to design a pilot program for early voting. Since that time, the Secretary of State, with assistance from the Legislature, the Office of the Attorney General and municipal clerks, has studied early voting to determine the feasibility and appropriate procedure to adopt early voting for Maineís statewide elections.

The Secretary of State has issued three reports regarding early voting. The first report, in 2007, describes the results of a study of early voting and outlined the pilot program to be implemented in 3 municipalities for the November 2007 Referendum Election. The second report, issued in 2008, describes the success of the pilot program and the issues to be addressed to allow adoption of early voting as a statewide program. The third report, issued January 2010, describes the successful pilot conducted in 9 municipalities for the November 2009 Referendum Election, and suggests the next steps that the Legislature may want to consider in adopting Early Voting for future elections.

2010 Report: "Report on the November 2009 Pilot Program for Early Voting" - January 15, 2010
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

2008 Report: "Report on the November 2007 Pilot Program for Early Voting" - February 25, 2008
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

2007 Report: "Report and Pilot Program for Early Voting" - April 1, 2007

Report and Recommendations
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Appendix A - Resolves of 2005, Chapter 70: Resolve, Directing the Secretary of State to Design a Pilot Program for Early Voting
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Appendix B - Early Voting Study Committee Members
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Appendix C - Survey of Maine Municipal Clerks Regarding Early and Absentee Voting

Municipal Survey on Early Voting
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Early Voting Survey: Overall Responses
Available only in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Early Voting Survey: Absentee Issues
Available only in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Early Voting Survey: Early Voting Issues
Available only in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Early Voting Survey: Clerk Comments
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Appendix D - Absentee Voting Statistical Summaries

Absentee Voting County Graphs
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Report of Absentee Ballots Issued and Returned 2000-2006
By County: in HTML - in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
By Municipality: in HTML - in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)

Report of Absentee Ballots Voting in Person
in HTML

Appendix E - Summary of Other States' Early Voting Laws, and Additional Information

Summary of Other States that Allow Early Processing of Absentee Ballots (before Election Day)
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Summary of Other States with Early Voting
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

Summary of Early Voting Laws in Other States
in MS Word (.doc)
in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf)
in Rich Text Format (.rtf)

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