MAINE, USA — You may have received a flyer recently from the U.S. Postal Service with bullet points of generic absentee voting information.
The flyers say:
-Start today. Give yourself and your election officials ample time to complete the process.
-Rules and dates vary by state, so contact your election board to confirm. Find links at usps.com/votinginfo
-Request your mail-in ballot (often called "absentee" ballot) at least 15 days before Election Day.
-Once received, follow the instructions. Add postage to the return envelope if needed.
-We recommend you mail your ballot at least 7 days before Election Day.
The problem is these flyers went across the country, to every state, where voting rules and regulations vary.
For example, a federal judge in Colorado has ordered the U.S. Postal Service to stop delivering the flyers, saying it provides incorrect information about mail-in voting in colorado.
Specifically, it says voters must "request" a mail-in ballot, which isn't true in Colorado, where there is a universal mail-in ballot system.
But how does this info stand up in Maine?
Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says the information is actually accurate for our state.
In Maine, you do need to request an absentee ballot online, by mail, or over the phone.
He says the guidelines of requesting a ballot 15 days in advance and sending it in 7 days in advance are correct, although he recommends sending it in as soon as possible.
"I would recommend sending it in sooner rather than later. I do not recommend testing the system in that way. If you get your absentee ballot and you're ready to send it in, go ahead and send it in," says Dunlap.
As far as needing postage for your absentee ballot-- Dunlap says it's complicated.
While your ballot will get into the hands of your city clerk without one, your town or city may have to make up the difference of that $0.75 postage fee.
To limit any complication, he recommends tacking postage on.