STATEWIDE (WGME) — As Election Day draws closer, there is some confusion in Maine about the accuracy of mail in voting.
Some Mainers still plan to cast a ballot at the polls this November.
But the coronavirus pandemic is expected to drive more people to the post office, where they can mail absentee ballots.
“I would assume that it would probably work alright in most cases but I’ve heard of some other instances where there’s been some issues,” said voter Bob MacDougall.
President Donald Trump claims mail-in voting will lead to massive voter fraud. There’s no basis in fact for that statement.
Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said any registered voter in Maine can request an absentee ballot. No excuse is needed.
State data shows nearly 265,000 Mainers did so in the 2016 presidential election.
With more than one million registered voters, that’s about 25 percent.
Thousand of those ballots were listed as rejected. Data shows more than half were never returned. About one thousand voters didn’t sign the envelope, and 233 weren’t counted because they arrived late.
“We encourage people to do things early,” Dunlap said. “There are people who always wait ’til the last minute,” Dunlap said.
The Secretary of State’s Office is expecting as many as 80 percent of voters to opt for absentee this year. That could amount to 600,000 ballots.
“We’re looking at maybe a broader window for early processing so we can get more in on election night,” Dunlap said. “Obviously expanding the footprint of the drop boxes. Those are very popular in the towns that had them.”
Dunlap doesn’t anticipate postal service delays but said state officials are having a lot of conversations behind the scenes and keeping their options open.
Some Mainers say they are not taking any chances.
“You feel a little more secure with being counted by going in than by sending something in — putting it right through the scanner yourself, yeah,” said voter Jessica Crosby.