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Early in-person voting begins Oct. 5 in Portland

Starting Monday, Portland voters who want to vote via absentee ballot in person can do so at the Merrill Auditorium.

PORTLAND, Maine — Early in-person voting will officially get underway in Maine's largest city on Monday, Oct. 5.

Voters registered in Portland who wish to vote via absentee ballot but would rather do so in-person rather than by mail can do so at the City Clerk's temporary office space in the Merrill Auditorium lobby. 

Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Clerk’s Office will offer late hours until 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 15 and 22, for ballot returns only. And on Thursday, Oct. 29, the City Clerk's office will remain open until 7:00 p.m. for voter registration and in-person absentee voting. 

Early in-person voting start dates and hours vary widely across Maine cities and towns. Check with your town clerk for details.

You do not need to complete an absentee ballot application if you vote early at your municipal clerk’s office. However, if you are not registered to vote, you must show ID and proof of where you live. Proof of where you live can come in the form of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or government document that shows your name and address.

RELATED: 2020 Election: Everything you need to know about Maine absentee voting

The Secretary of State's Office says early in-person voting is a great option for people who have concerns about mailing their ballots in or voting on Election Day with larger crowds, but emphasizes that the alternative, mailing in your absentee ballot, has been working in Maine for years and it's secure and valid.

The last day to vote early in-person is Friday, Oct. 30; normally it would be the final Thursday before the election, which would be October 29, but an executive order from Gov. Mills extended the deadline by one day.  

If mailing your absentee ballot, voters are encouraged to put it in the mail no later than 7 days before Election Day—if later, drop it off in person or via ballot dropbox.

Voters can now track their absentee ballots through every stage of the process. 

“This tracker will give voters peace of mind knowing that their ballot is on its way, and later, that their ballot has been safely received and accepted by the municipal clerk,” Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said. 

The tracking service can be found at the top of the online absentee ballot request page.

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