Maine leaders vow to protect absentee voting as Postal Service faces new challenges

Dunlap projects up to 600,000 Mainers will vote absentee.
Dunlap projects up to 600,000 Mainers will vote absentee.(Gray tv)
Published: Aug. 16, 2020 at 9:20 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - A spokeswoman for Gov. Janet Mills says the governor, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and Attorney General Aaron Frey are working with state election officials to make sure Maine’s absentee system runs smoothly in November.

The announcement comes after the Secretary of State’s Office received a letter from the U.S. Postal Service, which was made public Friday, suggesting Mainers request absentee ballots at least 15 days before election day.

The postal service has recently seen budget cuts and delivery delays along with controversial policy changes under new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy.

President Donald Trump has also said he opposes a Democrat-backed $25 billion funding request as part of stimulus negotiations because he believes it would be used for mail-in voting.

Gov. Mills said, in part, the letter, “raises the specter of ballots delayed, ballots lost in the mail, ballots not counted. These pronouncements from the highest levels of government portent a serious threat to the very foundations of our democracy.”

Secretary Dunlap says Gov. Mills could suspend the deadline for absentee ballots, as long as they’re postmarked by election day, through an executive order.

Of the suggestion, Dunlap told News 8 Saturday, "we aren't there just yet."

Dunlap projects up to 600,000 Mainers will vote absentee.

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