Maine Governor Issues Executive Order Regarding the November Election

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Governor Mills has issued a new executive order to facilitate the November 2020 general election. The stated purpose of the order is to ensure the integrity of the ballot and to protect the public health during the COVID-19 emergency. 

The order includes a limit of 50 or fewer people in each polling place and that the statutory minimum number of voting booths are not required if it would make it difficult to have them more than 6 feet apart. Voter lines must be marked to enforce a six-foot separation between voters. Voter registration is modified to allow voters to register 15 days before the election rather than 21 days. Municipalities may consolidate their polling places with a public hearing 30 days prior to election rather than the standard 90 and move polling places with a public hearing 20 days prior to the election rather than 60. The requirement that all polling workers reside in the municipality or county in which they serve is suspended. School budget elections are simplified. Absentee ballots may be processed 7 days before the election, rather than 4. Voters may vote in person by absentee ballot without giving a reason until 5:00 pm on the second business day before the election (Friday October 30). The Secretary of State will help Clerks have secure external boxes to drop off absentee ballots.