For Immediate Release
September 18, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Presents
2008 Lorraine M. Fleury Award to Buxton Deputy Town Clerk Joan Weeman
Bangor- “When a person is described as ‘an absolutely vital and irreplaceable part of managing elections' in their town, we listen,” said Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. That's exactly how Buxton Town Clerk John Myers described Deputy Clerk Joan Weeman, winner of the 2008 Lorraine M. Fleury Award. “This award recognizes significant contributions to the elections process,” Dunlap explained, continuing, “that perfectly describes the work of Joan Weeman for the past 50 years. Whether assisting her father and mother during their tenures as Town Clerk in the 50's and 60's, serving as chair of Buxton's first Board of Voter Registration in the 1970's, working as full-time Deputy Town Clerk in the 80's and 90's, or serving in her current capacity as part-time Deputy Clerk, Joan has exhibited a dedication to the electoral process few people in the history of our state can match.”
Weeman has overseen all phases of the electoral process, from registering voters and helping with absentee balloting to taking on the role of Registrar and Deputy Clerk. In his letter nominating Weeman for this award, Town Clerk Myers wrote: “Joan has constantly done whatever was needed to get the job completed. On Election day, she is normally the first to arrive and she stays on until the very end, when all the ballots have been counted and the doors have been locked.”
“We're thrilled to have this opportunity to honor Joan, and her longtime dedication to the voters of Buxton and the State of Maine . I am hopeful the hard work of people like Joan serves to remind everyone of the importance of their right to vote- a right made easier to exercise thanks to the personal sacrifices of Joan Weeman.”
The Award is named after Lorraine M. Fleury, a long time Elections Director for the State of Maine who exemplified the qualities that are the criteria for this Award. Past recipients include Gerald P. Berube of Lewiston , Linda C. Cohen of South Portland , D. Brenda Caldwell of Gorham, Ethelyn Marthia of Kennebunk, Deborah S. Cabana of Brunswick, Debra Lane of Cape Elizabeth, Kathleen Montejo of Lewiston, and Patti Dubois of Bangor. Mrs. Weeman was joined by several members of her family at today's presentation.
Municipal Clerks, Registrars Call Event “Helpful, Informative”
Bangor- State elections officials wrapped up a two-day educational conference in Bangor today, providing municipal clerks and registrars the latest information on Maine election law. “Voter turnout in November may well reach record levels,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said, continuing, “This conference has been an excellent tune-up for everyone as we head down the home stretch to Election Day on November 4. Maine has consistently been at or near the top nationwide in voter turnout, and I attribute this to three things: Maine’s engaged voting public, accessible elections, and the hard work and dedication of the municipal workers, who make our elections run smoothly.”
This year’s conference covered a number of election-related topics, including voter registration, absentee balloting, and the duties of election officials before, on, and after Election Day. The event drew over three hundred public servants from all over the state. Feedback from attendees called the presentation “well-organized, useful, and informative”.
Prior to the conclusion of the conference, Deputy Secretary of State Julie Flynn announced to attendees that printing of ballots for the November Election has concluded, and ballots will begin to be distributed to cities and towns starting next week. Municipal officials are expected to begin fulfilling absentee ballot requests as soon as they receive their ballot allotments next week.