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Maine

0 /65
Vote at Home Score

2020 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed-out ballots

0 %

2016 General Election

Turnout rate (VEP)

0 %

Votes cast from mailed out ballots

0 %

State election policies as of 2022...

Full Vote-at-Home

0/10

Full Vote-at-Home

Voter automatically mailed ballot for every election

No Excuse Required

6/6

No Excuse Required

No excuse to vote from home

Single Sign-Up

0/6

Single Sign-Up

Voter signs up once to receive mail ballot for all future elections

Local Vote-at-Home Option

0/5

Local VAH Option

Local governments have discretion to conduct full vote-at-home elections

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

2/2

Online Mail Ballot Sign-Up

Voter can apply for mail ballot online

Ballot Tracking

1/4

Ballot Tracking

Voter can receive ballot status notifications.

In-Person Ballot Return

4/5

In-Person Ballot Return

Voter has multiple options to return mail ballot in person

Signature Verification

4/5

Signature Verification

Voter signature verified before ballot is counted

Ballot Cure Process

2/4

Ballot Cure Process

Voter can correct issues so ballot can be counted

Prepaid Postage

0/4

Prepaid Postage

Postage-paid return envelopes provided

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

0/4

Election Day Postmark Acceptance

Ballots postmarked by Election Day are accepted

In-Person Voting

2/4

In-Person Return

Physical locations for voters to vote and receive assistance

Pre-Processing

0/3

Signature Verification

Ballots are verified and scanned before Election Day

Mail Ballot Applications

2/2

Mail Ballot Applications

Election officials can mail ballot applications to all voters eligible to vote from home

Ballot Return Assistance

2/2

Ballot Return Assistance

Voters may receive assistance to return their mail ballot

Last Updated

Opportunities

Maine can reduce costs and increase voter convenience by creating a permanent absentee voting list, on which all voters can sign up to automatically be sent an absentee ballot for each election without having to re-apply. States experience significant savings by cutting down on the requests they need to process, saving an average of $1 per application.
We highly recommend creating vote centers, or polling locations where any voter in the county can vote. This is a way to streamline the system so over time, as the share of the vote cast by mail increases, counties can have fewer overall polling locations, while individual voters will have more voting location options. Additionally, we recommend including provisions to allow for ballots to be received at polling and vote centers, as well as other locations deemed necessary by the clerk, as a low cost way to increase return options.
Accepting ballots with Election Day postmarks shortly after Election Day is a best practice to ensure that voters are given all options to vote their ballot in a timely manner, as it is estimated in most jurisdictions to decrease ballot rejection rates by half. We recommend that, not only does a state allow the physical postmark on a ballot, but also that it integrate into the USPS system for electronic postmarks to serve as validation that a ballot was mailed on time.
Simplifying the return process for a ballot is just as important as simplifying the request process. Prepaying postage on ballot return envelopes can increase return rates by ensuring that voters do not need to make an extra trip to the post office.
Voters should have sufficient time to correct any issues with their ballot In the event that a voter’s ballot is rejected. Maine’s current cure deadline of one day before election days leaves many voters behind. We recommend allowing voters to cure any issues for 5 days after the election.

Recent Legislation

As of October 21, 2021

In August 2020, Governor Mills issued EO 8 (FY 20/21), which, among other reforms, made temporary adjustments to the State’s vote by mail system for the November general election in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order permitted absentee ballot processing to begin seven days pre-Election Day, suspended the requirement that municipal clerks facilitate absentee voting in certain licensed facilities, and allowed no-excuse absentee voting until 5 PM on the second business day pre-Election Day.

In its 2021 legislative session, the Maine Legislature passed LD 102, which codified the formerly temporary provision that permitted absentee ballot processing to begin seven days before Election Day, and LD 1126 to create an online voter registration system. LD 1363 codified into law the state’s cure process, the statewide ballot tracking system, and the option for municipalities to establish drop boxes. LD 1274 gave municipalities more flexibility in scheduling elections in response to COVID and LD 1126 allows voters to register online. LD 148, which passed both houses and will be carried over to the next session, would create a permanent absentee list for seniors and disabled voters. Additionally, the state joined ERIC in late 2021 to improve its data integrity. Not all is sunshine and roses, however: LD 580, which proposed a constitutional amendment to allow early voting, failed.