BREWER — Early voters on Friday had numerous reasons for casting absentee ballots this year. Fear of COVID-19 topped the list.
“I work with the geriatric population and with all the people that I expect to be there on voting day, I just don’t want to risk it. They are an at-risk population,” said Debbie Conley, a nurse and early voter in Brewer.
Another voter said it was for sheer ease.
“No fear. I would have gone to the polls as well but this is so convenient,” the voter said. “This year, it seemed like they were making it very easy and more accessible. Yep. I took advantage of it.”
Two other early absentee voters work nights.
“We weren’t sure if we were going to make it back in time to vote,” said David Blake.
“We’re hoping there is a long line of good supporters,” Rose Blake said.
Those who want to vote early only have until Thursday, Oct. 29, to request an absentee ballot electronically or by phone from the Secretary of State. Most communities are allowing voters to get ballots and do in-person absentee voting through Friday, Oct. 30.
“You’ll need to fill out an absentee ballot application,” Brewer City Clerk Vincent Migliore said. “It’s a short form that we have. You can fill in out in just a few moments and then we can issue you a ballot.”
Absentee voting in Hampden is being conducted with booths set up in the hallway and conference room. In Brewer, voters can use the city council chambers to fill them out.
Hampden’s town office is usually closed on Fridays but will be open on the Oct. 30 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. for residents to cast absentee ballots.
“It makes a lot sense to do it early and avoid the crowds,” Migiore said.