BANGOR – Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said overall turnout for Tuesday’s election has been pretty strong.
Dunlap said he thinks part of that comes from the ongoing discussions about voting during the pandemic.
“And as we talk about that, it gets people thinking ‘Maybe this is really important and I should participate,'” Dunlap said.
“We’ve been mapping out a process now, with the town clerks, for quite a while. We have a lot more work to do to get ready for November, but we know now what works: the personal protective equipment, social distancing, hand sanitizer, washing hands.”
Dunlap said he expects numbers to show turnout between 25 and 30 percent.
He also said the state saw about six times the normal amount of absentee ballot requests, with more than 200,000. He compared that to the contested 2018 primary, where election officials issued about 35,000 ballots.
According to Dunlap, the number of absentee ballots requested for the primary is a mix between a supplement to in-person voting and a replacement for in-person voting, depending on the polling location.
Dunlap said most towns ran their absentee ballots Tuesday morning, with some coming in throughout the day. While there was some concern that it may take a while to get results, Dunlap said we should have most of the results by Tuesday night.