AUGUSTA — The Maine Municipal Association is firing back at Donald Trump’s campaign claim that the U.S. voting process was “rigged” and that millions voted illegally Nov. 8.

The MMA on Wednesday released a public service announcement called “Your Vote Counts.” The PSA explains the election process and assures the integrity of Maine’s municipally administered voting system.

The 60-second video features Lewiston City Clerk Kathy Montejo, Bangor City Clerk Lisa Goodwin and China Town Clerk Becky Hapgood.

The video opens with a voice-over saying that across Maine, dedicated election workers and thousands of poll workers “accomplished the remarkable, as they always do” on Election Day.

Montejo looks into the camera and says that for her staff, the election starts months in advance, and early-voter ballots are carefully handled.

“We prepare, distribute and carefully manage absentee ballots to allow people to vote early. And we confirm every voter’s registration,” she said

Goodwin says all votes are counted on Election Day in the open as poll workers “watch the process, every step of the way.”

Hapgood is featured next, explaining that Maine uses paper ballots, “a time-honored method that can be trusted.”

The paper record is maintained so it’s easy to inspect if necessary, Goodwin said. In close races when there’s a recount, ballots are counted “very carefully in public.”

The voice-over concludes by saying the election was historic. “It also was fair, open and professionally run. Many thanks to all town and city election workers. Because of you, every vote counts.”

The MMA does not typically produce PSAs about elections but felt compelled this year to act because of allegations of rigged votes. “That’s offensive,” MMA spokesman Eric Conrad said. “Our people work so hard.”

One big point of the association’s announcement is to show that Maine uses free-standing ballot machines that are not connected to the Internet. The machines tally the votes all day as citizens feed ballots into the machines.

When the polls close, “we triple-check all the numbers from the machine tapes,” Montejo said.

Lewiston’s city clerk since 1999, Montejo said she was honored to be in the video; it pays tribute to those who help out.

“Every town and city needs to hire citizens workers,” she said. “In Lewiston we hired 150 citizens to work the election. We work together well.”



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