STATEWIDE (WGME) — Many smaller communities in Maine are working on ways to keep people safe during the November election.
For some, the solution is finding larger spaces for voting day.
”Normally we hold elections in our town office behind me but beginning in July we decided we needed to move to a space that was bigger,” said Cumberland Deputy Town Clerk Eliza Porter.
Cumberland will now host Election Day at Greeley High School — and the kids will spend the day learning remotely.
“It will allow us to spread out and distance workers, as well as voters who are coming in the polls,” she said.
In Bath, one solution is to host an in-person voting day before Election Day to help reduce the number of people voting on Nov. 3.
“We’re actually going to be setting up the basement conference room for early absentee in-person voting,” said Bath City Clerk Darci Wheeler.
On Election Day, Bath voters will head to the middle school and city workers and school officials are working to determine how that would look.
“That we can go in through the maybe the cafeteria, or maybe other areas of the school, with keeping people socially distanced,” Wheeler said.
Some say absentee voting has also made converting to socially distanced spaces easier.
“Normally we’d have 200, 300 requests before we even have the ballots, We’re going to hit 3,000 before the end of this week,” Porter said.
“The push for the absentee voting is very beneficial to us as a smaller town, because you can only have so many people in a certain room,” Wheeler said.
Porter said no matter how residents choose to vote, everyone should feel safe performing their civic duty.
“We’re taking safety extremely seriously, and we’re trying to make it so everyone feels comfortable and can cast a ballot in the Fall,” she said.