LETTERS: ARRP responds to election order

AARP Maine State Director Lori Parham (source: AARP)

To the editor:

AARP Maine State Director Lori Parham released the following statement today in response to the Governor’s Executive Order on the July 14, 2020 Primary & Referendum Election.

On behalf of our 230,000 members 50 and older across Maine we want to thank Governor Mills for clarifying the rules and processes for the July 14 election. During these uncertain times, AARP Maine wants to ensure that every Maine voter has a safe, secure, and efficient way to cast their vote in the primary election.

The Order allows for important adjustments including:

  • Changing the 21-day cutoff for mail and 3rd party registration to a 7-day cutoff,
  • Allowing secure drop boxes for returning ballots, and
  • Changing the deadline for clerks to give notice of early absentee processing from 60 to 21 days.

The Order also allows for the suspension of requirements that Town Clerks facilitate absentee balloting through in-person visits to certain licensed facilities. AARP Maine will be monitoring this change closely to ensure that residents of Maine’s licensed long-term care facilities are given every opportunity to cast their vote in the primary election.

As we look to the General Election in November, we urge the Secretary of State to consider additional procedures that will ensure a strong voter turnout while maintaining the health and safety of Maine residents. These include making online submission of voter registration documents possible, mailing absentee ballots or request forms to all registered Maine voters, with return postage paid, and ensuring that voters are notified if their ballot is rejected because of a technical error so that they can be given the right to cure that error. We look forward to continuing to work with the Secretary and his staff in the months ahead.

AARP Maine continues to urge Maine voters who are able to Vote Safely. Vote from Home. by requesting an absentee ballot from the Secretary of State’s office or their local town clerk.

Lori Parham
AARP Maine State Director


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