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Sec. of State launches absentee ballot tracking service

Beginning Monday, Maine voters are now able to track the status of their absentee ballot.
Credit: AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap announced the launch of a new absentee ballot tracking service on Monday. The service will allow Maine voters to track the status of their absentee ballot at every stage of the voting process, including whether it was accepted or rejected.

Any voter who has requested an absentee ballot can track the status of their request, and of the ballot itself, through the Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 General Election.

“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,” Dunlap said.

Voters must enter their name, date of birth, and city of residence to check on the progress of their ballot. They will see a grid that will show whether their request was accepted or rejected by the clerk, as well as the date it was delivered to the voter, and the date when the completed ballot was returned to the clerk.

Developed by the e-government service provider InforMe in coordination with the Department of the Secretary of State, the tracking service populates data directly from the central voter registration database, which is continually updated by municipal clerks statewide.

The Secretary of State’s Office says the tracking system was implemented as part of their response to a recent lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Maine (Merrill v. Dunlap in U.S. District Court). This is the first tracking system of its kind to be implemented in Maine for ballots. Forty other states and Washington, D.C. also have ballot tracking systems in place ahead of the 2020 election.

The Secretary of State’s Office says now that the tracking system is built, it will likely be a component of the absentee ballot request service going forward for future elections.

The tracking service is live as of Monday. It can be found at the top of the online absentee ballot request page.

The deadline to request an absentee ballot through the online request service or directly with municipal clerks is Thursday, Oct. 29; in-person with a municipal clerk the deadline is 5 p.m. on Oct. 30.

All ballots must be in hand with the municipal clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.