The town of Paris received more than 430 absentee ballots for this year’s primary election. By comparison, only 59 residents cast absentee votes in the 2016 presidential primary. Supplied photo

REGION — Town clerks in Buckfield, Harrison, Norway, Paris, Waterford and West Paris have released guidance to in-person and absentee voting in the upcoming Presidential Election. (Responses from Hebron, Otisfield and Oxford were pending as of press time.)

Buckfield

Buckfield will hold in-person voting on Nov. 3, at the Buckfield Municipal Center on 34 Turner Street.

Town Clerk Cindy Dunn cautions that only three voters will allowed in the polling place at a time and asks that citizens wear face coverings in the building.

Absentee/mail-in ballot requests:  apply electronically through the State at https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absent.html, apply over the phone, stop by the Town Office to complete an application. Anyone is welcome to vote in-person ahead of the election as soon as ballots have been delivered to the Town Office. Ballots can also be placed in the municipal drop box.

In order to be counted, all ballots must be completed and returned to the Town Office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov 3.

There were 266 absentee ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election.  Dunn has received 134 requests as of mid-September.

Harrison

Harrison is adding extra safety measures to protect those voting in-person. For those who wish to vote in-person prior to the election, there will booths set up in the clerk’s office, as officials have done in the past. Any Harrison registered voter may come in and vote in-person once the ballots have been received in house.

On Election Day, there will be six voters allowed inside at a time. Protective barriers will be in place. All workers are required to wear masks or face shields and the Town Clerk encourages all voters to wear a face covering as well. The wait line inside will be limited to three people; all others will need to be socially distanced outside so citizens need to dress accordingly for the weather.

Location: The polling place is at the town office. The location has not changed.

Restrictions voters should be aware of: In-person voters should be prepared for a long line outside the building. Everyone is encouraged to wear a face covering when coming in the polling place to vote.

Absentee/mail-in ballot requests: Voters may order a ballot online at https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absent.html or call the town office to request an absentee ballot.

To vote by absentee ballot: Ballots will be mailed to voters as soon as they are available at the Town Office. Voters can choose to drop the ballots back off at the Town Office during office hours, Monday – Friday 8 am to 4 pm, use the secure drop box outside the front door or mail them to the Town Clerk.

“If you are mailing your ballot back, do not wait until the last minute to mail it” states Harrison Town Clerk Melissa St. John. “The mail is slow and it can take longer than it used too. Ballots should be mailed back at least a week ahead of the election. For ballots to counted, they need to be at the town office no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020.”

There were 373 absentee ballots cast in Harrison for the 2020 election. St. John said as of Sept. 9 requests have succeeded 285.

“I would encourage anyone who is not registered to vote, or they have moved and are not registered to vote in the town where they are currently live to take the time to do so ahead of the election,” said St. John. “Space is limited in our voting areas and it will definitely be less confusing if everyone is already registered and we can all focus on voting that day.”

Norway

Voters can cast their absentee ballot in-person Norway ahead of the election as walk-ins at Town Hall during the hours 10 am to 4 pm between Oct. 12 and Oct. 29. It can also be on election day.

Location: Norway Fire Station, same location as previous elections.

There will be six-foot social distancing and face coverings are recommended. Space will limited to 50 people in the fire station and includes poll workers and support people. Lines are expected to be out the door to maintain proper social distancing limits on how many people can be in the building at once.

Absentee/mail-in ballot requests: Voters may order a ballot online at https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absent.html or call the Town Office to request an absentee ballot. Applications received in the mail can filled out and turned in to to the Town Clerk at Town Hall. There is a drop box located to the left of the front entrance to town hall. All ballots must be received by mail or in-person by 8 pm Nov. 3. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is October 29.

During the 2016 presidential election 709 absentee and 2,689 in-person votes were cast in Norway. As of Sept. 11, Town Clerk Shirley Boyce reported that she has processed 556 absentee ballot requests.

“I always say it is easier to put a man on the moon than it is to run an election,” declared Boyce. “This year it is even truer! Seriously, it is a tough, very detail oriented job and clerks have their work cut out for them this year, as does the Secretary of State’s office.

“The voter participation will be huge and COVID-19 protocols are the icing on the cake. Maine citizens can rest assured that the election will be run fairly and legally; the Secretary of State’s office is A-1, and will provide the support clerks need to do the job. Maine is rated one of the top states in the country with voting efficiency.”

For ballots to counted, they need to be at the town office no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020.”

Paris

The 2020 presidential election will be held at the Paris Fire Department at 137 Western Ave. in South Paris. Officials will have the same safety procedures in place as they did during the primary election in July. Voters must maintain six feet social distancing and are asked to wear masks.

Absentee/mail-in ballot requests: A Paris resident can call or visit the Town Office to request an absentee ballot or apply online at https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absent.html.

Ballots can be returned by mail, placed in the Town Office drop box, hand-delivered to the Town Office or polling place by 8 pm Nov. 3.

Paris saw 729 absentee ballots cast during the 2016 election. As of Sept. 11, the Town Clerk had received 482 ballot requests.

“In the 2016 Presidential Election 2,752 residents voted, with about a quarter being by absentee,” said Town Clerk Elizabeth Knox. “With six weeks to go before Election Day we are only 248 requests away from exceeding 2016 absentee votes.”

Waterford

Polls in Waterford will be open from 8 am to 8 pm on Election Day.  Voting will take place at the fire station at 366 Valley Rd.  Staff will put into place safety protections in compliance with the Maine Center for Disease Control.

Absentee ballot procedures will be unchanged. Voters should request their application online at https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absent.html or personally call or go to  the Town Office. Ballots can be returned by either mail or in-person. There is a drop off box located outside the Town Office.

Waterford’s Town Clerk did not advise how many voters will be allowed in the building at one time.

For ballots to counted, they need to be at the town office no later than 8 p.m. on Nov. 3, 2020.”

West Paris

West Paris will hold in-person voting at the Town Office from 8 am to 8 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. Masks or face covering are recommended (as of Jul. 14, the Maine Secretary of State’s office said no towns could make it mandatory). Voters will be restricted to 5 citizens in the building at a time. There will be an election official at the door to direct citizens upon entering to properly enforce social distancing requirements.

Location: The polling location remains the West Paris Town Office Meeting Room.

Restrictions voters should be aware of: There will be a limit to the number of people allowed into the building at once, the same as the July 14th election so citizens should consider that the waiting line outside could get very long. Voters will enter via the front door for the Town Office and exit via the door onto Kingsbury Street to maintain one-way foot traffic.

Absentee/mailing ballot requests: Citizens should call the office or visit Maine’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions at https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/absent.html to request an absentee ballot. Some political organizations are mailing absentee ballot request forms to voters.

To vote by absentee ballot: The voter can either mail the ballot back to the Town Office, drop if off in person or place the ballot in West Paris’ secure night deposit box.

Key dates and deadlines for absentee/mail-in ballots? The Last Day to request an absentee ballot ix Oct. 29. They must be in the hands of election officials the at the Town Office by 8 pm on Nov. 3, 2020.

West Paris had 228 absentee ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election.

 

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