Maine's Primary Election may be Delayed by a Month because of Coronavirus concerns, Gov. Janet Mills (D) announced on Tuesday. The Election, which is Scheduled for June 9th, could now be held on July 14th, Mills said.
Mills said at Tuesday's Press Briefing she does Not believe it will be possible to hold an Election on its Current Date after hearing Recommendations from the Secretary of State's Office.
While Senate President, Troy Jackson (D-1st District), said he Supports the Delay, House Leader Kathleen Dillingham (R-72nd District)) is questioning it. “I understand the need for pre-planning in the event that primary elections need to be moved. But making that determination on April 7 causes undue anxiety and panic among residents who will view it as a precursor to extending the stay at home executive order through June into July," Dillingham said.
The Campaign Manager for Sen. Susan Collins (R), who is up for Re-Election this Fall, said the Campaign Respects the Governor's Decision. Sara Gideon, who is in a Primary Race to face Collins, said the Health and Safety of Maine Residents are the Top Priorities. "I'm confident that we can both protect our democracy and protect the people of Maine," Gideon said.
Maine Republican Party Executive Director, Jason Savage, said the GOP has Not taken a Stance on the Issue yet. “We have been seeking additional information about this from the governor's office," Savage said. "We don't know enough yet and have not been provided any of the relevant information.”
In addition to Delaying the Election, Secretary of State, Matthew Dunlap (D), is Recommending that Ballots only include Races that are Contested, as well as Holding an All-Absentee Ballot Election, with No In-Person Voting at Polling Places.
The Five-week Delay could allow Both Voters and Election Officials to take Extra Steps to Prepare for an Election that could largely be done via Absentee Voting with better Security to Validate Voters Match the Eligible Voters in the Voter Database.
Mills said the State is looking at ways to Encourage Absentee Voting and Discourage In-Person Voting.
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