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Secretary of State Shenna Bellows looks ahead to the future of Maine’s elections

She says preventing cybersecurity threats remains a top priority.
Published: Feb. 10, 2021 at 6:05 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - While election season might seem far away, state officials are already planning for 2022.

“As we think about reforms to increase voter participation and accessibility, we need to make sure we are being deliberative and creating plans for those changes,” said Secretary of State Shenna Bellows.

Bellows started her new role with a listening tour within her department and with stakeholders across the state.

She’s reflecting on past elections while looking ahead to the future.

“Maine’s elections are well run and incredibly secure because of the dedicated team of clerks and election workers all across the state who are so committed to our democracy,” said Bellows.

Bellows has been meeting with election officials from across the country to share input and ideas for the future.

She says while preventing cybersecurity threats remains a top priority, ballot boxes and early ballot processing could carry over from this year.

“Those are considerations that have to be contemplated but we had a lot of success in 2020 and we think it could work in the future as well. It’s extremely important that we be investing in our technology like our central voter registration system to make sure that it is secure,” said Bellows.

Bellows is in favor of a push from Democratic Speaker of the House Ryan Fecteau that would allow voters to request absentee voter status for all elections.

She says this would increase accessibility and convenience for people who prefer absentee voting.

“Its always important that this be a collaborative process to talk here in Maine about our traditions and what we’ve done in the past and what we can do in the future to advance our shared goals of making sure every citizen is able to participate in our democracy,” said Bellows.

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