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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2007
Contact: Don Cookson
207-626-8404

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Applauds Early
Voting Pilot Project

Goal "to make voting as easy as possible"

Augusta — Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says a pilot program currently underway in three Maine communities makes it easier than ever for Mainers to cast their ballots. “Three communities have opened their polls more than a week early, allowing residents to cast their ballots just as they ordinarily would on Election Day,” Dunlap said. “It’s called Early Voting, and it is a major effort to make exercising your Constitutional right to vote as convenient as possible.” The cities of Bangor and Portland, along with the town of Readfield, are participants in the Early Voting pilot program. “The three communities who are operating Early Voting this year have really stepped up to the plate, crafting their own plans for carrying out this initiative,” Dunlap said, adding “if it’s well-received in these three locations, Early Voting could become available as an option for municipalities statewide, as another way to accommodate the busy schedules of the voting public.”

Recent expansion of the rules surrounding Absentee Voting have made voting easier than ever before, but the Absentee process requires several steps: voters must obtain a ballot, fill out and then seal their completed ballots in an envelope, sign the envelopes, and turn them in to their municipal elections official on or prior to Election Day. The Early Voting process allows people in these three pilot communities to simply stop by a polling place and cast a ballot, just as they would on Election Day.

Secretary Dunlap explained, “The purpose of the pilot program is simple - to determine if Early Voting can be a success, for both voters and municipal officials. The three municipalities taking part in this Early Voting pilot program are providing a simple, anonymous questionnaire to the voters taking part in the program, allowing them to weigh in on the process. It’s a great way for us to get some feedback.” Dunlap continued, “It’s the opinions of the voters that truly matter - not just in deciding the outcome of the elections, but in this case, in how those elections will be carried out, now and in the future.”

Early Voting locations and hours of operation for the three participating municipalities are as follows:

BANGOR - The “G” Room , Bangor Civic Center, 100 Dutton Street

PORTLAND - State of Maine Room (2nd floor), Portland City Hall, 389 Congress St.

READFIELD - Municipal Clerk’s Office, Town Office, 8 Old Kent’s Hill Road

EARLY VOTING HOURS

Bangor

  Monday, October 29,  2007 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  Thursday, November 1, 2007 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  Friday, November 2, 2007 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  Saturday, November 3, 2007 8 a.m. – noon
  Monday, November 5, 2007 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

Portland

  Monday, October 29,  2007 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Wednesday, October 31, 2007 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Thursday, November 1, 2007 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Friday, November 2, 2007 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Saturday, November 3, 2007 8 a.m. – noon
  Monday, November 5, 2007 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

Readfield

  Monday, October 29,  2007 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Tuesday, October 30, 2007 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Wednesday, October 31, 2007 Noon – 6:00 p.m.
  Thursday, November 1, 2007 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Friday, November 2, 2007 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  Monday, November 5, 2007 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.