FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2010
Contact: Matthew Dunlap
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Announces Launch of
Enhanced Online Absentee Ballot Request Service
Absentee Ballot Request Service enhanced to comply with the
and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act enacted in Congress
AUGUSTA - Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap announced today that the Online Absentee Ballot Request Service for the November General Election is now available.
The service has been enhanced to comply with the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act enacted in Congress and changes to state law that make it easier for all Maine citizens to submit electronic requests for an absentee ballot, regardless of whether they are living here in Maine or are stationed in the military or temporarily residing in another country. Other changes in state law are aimed at improving delivery of absentee ballots to military members or voters living outside the U.S., who may be disenfranchised due to slow mail service. The Secretary of State has designed a new web page containing more information about this program: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter_info/uocava.htm
Additionally, starting with the November 2, 2010 General Election, all Maine municipalities are required to accept electronic requests for absentee ballots. In prior elections, municipalities could opt to participate or not. Municipal clerks will process the requests and mail out absentee ballots when they become available.
Since the online service was first implemented in November 2008, usage by voters has grown significantly. In November 2009, an all time high of 10,301 absentee ballots were requested through the online system. During the June 2010 Primary Election, 1,776 voters from 217 municipalities requested absentee ballots using the online service.
The service allows any registered Maine voter to request their absentee ballot by:
- Completing and submitting their request form online;
- Filling out the request form online, then printing and signing the completed form to mail to their municipal clerk; or,
- Printing a blank request form to fill out by hand and deliver to their municipal clerk.
The service is available now for voters to submit their requests; however, ballots will not be sent out until 30 to 45 days before the election. Once a voter has submitted their request using the online service, they will be sent an automated email notification containing the information they submitted and a confirmation number. When the request is processed and accepted by their municipal clerk, they will be sent an additional status notification.
The Online Absentee Ballot Request Service is available at: www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl