LEWISTON — Concerned that a new state absentee-ballot deadline will discourage some voters, Lewiston City Clerk Kathy Montejo began streamlining early voting Thursday.
According to new state rules, absentee ballots cannot be given to voters after Thursday, Nov. 3. Voters still have until the polls close on Nov. 8 to submit their ballots, but the clerk can't give out any new ones.
"The problem is, we give out the bulk of our absentee ballots in the last few days before the regular polling begins," Montejo said. "I'm afraid that some voters are going to be disenfranchised when they can't vote by absentee and I'm afraid they won't come back."
Montejo set up a voting station on the ground floor of Lewiston City Hall. Voters can come in, get their absentee ballots, fill them in, seal them in the envelope and drop them in the ballot box.
"It looks just like a mini-polling place," Montejo said. The sealed envelopes will be opened and the ballots counted on Election Day.