Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday signed an emergency proclamation to allow 200 linemen and other Central Maine Power workers pressed into duty by an early November snowstorm to vote by fax machine.

A company spokesman said supervisors were reaching out to crews busy restoring power to 38,000 customers still in the dark.

Those who couldn’t make it to a hometown polling booth were directed to the nearest CMP service center where they would have access to a computer and privacy at a fax machine, spokesman John Carroll said.

“Every storm has its unique challenges,” Carroll said. “The last big storm we had, it was Christmas.”

By 4 p.m., about 100 CMP workers had asked to remote-vote, according to Secretary of State Office spokeswoman Kristen Muszynski.

Workers were being matched with the ballots from their state district, which was causing some delay in the turnaround, she said. They weren’t able to receive their local race ballots.


Carroll said CMP contacted the Maine Emergency Management Agency on Monday with the special voting request after heavy snow over the weekend knocked out power to thousands of people.

Under the proclamation, utility workers can visit a state website, send in a request and receive an email with a log-in and password to print a ballot. Ballots could be either scanned or faxed back to the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions in Augusta before 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Storm crews work 17 hours on and take seven hours off and stay in hotels if they’re working outside their regular territory, Carroll said.

He said the proclamation also applied to people in CMP’s offices who, like himself, couldn’t leave their posts because of their roles in the storm emergency.

CMP has 900 employees.

“Providing aid to a community stricken by a natural disaster shouldn’t mean someone surrenders their right to vote,” Secretary of State Matt Dunlap said in a news release announcing the proclamation. 

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