Mainers have the chance to vote for presidential, senatorial, congressional and local races on Nov. 3 — or sooner.
Here is your guide to the main ways of voting in the coronavirus-altered election — by absentee ballot either by mail or person and in person on a socially distanced Election Day.
How do I know if I am registered to vote?
If you have moved or have not voted before, you must register to vote. You can check your voter registration status by entering your name, date of birth and current address on the site Vote.org.
How do I register?
To register to vote for the first time or at the first time at a new address, you have a few options. You can fill out a voter registration card on the Maine secretary of state’s website, print it and mail it to your town office before Oct. 19. If you do not have access to a printer, you can contact your town office to have a card mailed to you.
If you are registering for the first time in Maine, you will need to provide documentation to prove you are eligible to vote, such as a driver’s license, passport, birth certificate or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you have recently moved or the address on your identification document does not match your current address, you will need to supply a proof of address, such as a utility bill or paycheck.
If you are registering to vote by mail, attach a copy of your identification document with your printed card. After Oct. 19, you can still register in person by filling out a form at your town office or at a Bureau of Motor Vehicles location.
You may also register at your local polling place on Election Day. If you need to register to vote on Election Day, you must bring your driver’s license or other identification with you to register. Otherwise, you do not need identification at the polls.
How do I request an absentee ballot and make sure it is counted?
Any Maine voter can request an absentee ballot, with no excuse needed, either online using the state’s absentee ballot request service or by calling or visiting your town office. Maine has already seen a near-record number of absentee ballot requests due to the coronavirus pandemic. For more on absentee voting, we have a full guide here.
How do I vote in person before Election Day?
You can also vote in person before Election Day by visiting your town office, where you request an absentee ballot and fill it out there. This form of voting is available from Monday until Oct. 30. Check with your town office about hours.
What will voting in person on Election Day look like?
If you would rather vote in person on Nov. 3, that is still an option. Polling places in Maine are legally required to be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, though they open earlier in many places. Some towns have changed or consolidated polling locations due to the pandemic. You can check your polling location using the state’s voter information service or by checking with your town office.
Cities and towns will be taking health precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic, including distancing and sanitation measures. Poll workers will wear personal protective equipment, and voters are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.
Some polling sites may have fewer booths or limit the number of people allowed indoors at a time. Depending on turnout, this could result in longer lines, and state officials are encouraging voters to allow extra time on Election Day. As long as you are in line at 8 p.m., you have the right to vote.