The Augusta Armory, seen Wednesday, where the city’s Ward 1 voters will cast ballots on Election Day. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Election Day will look a little different on Nov. 3.

With coronavirus guidelines in place, voters will have to keep a distance of up to 6 feet away from others and are encouraged to wear a face mask by the Maine Center for Disease Control.

Although wearing a mask is encouraged, voters “cannot be turned away” for not wearing one, according to the Maine Department of the Secretary of State.

Maine is seeing the largest daily spike in COVID-19 cases since May, so proper protection and safety measures are strongly encouraged while voting in person to minimize exposure for election workers and other voters.

After reporting a probable positive COVID-19 case Monday, Gardiner Area High School — where voting is set to take place next week — reported two positive cases Tuesday.

“The entire gym will be sanitized and cleaned out,” Gardiner City Clerk Alisha Ballard said. “It will be done anyways, but will be done really well.

“We will be setting up on Monday or early Tuesday morning,” she added, “and we will have another cleaner going in on Wednesday (after Election Day).”

Ballard said if any voters come in and have COVID-19, the extra day on Wednesday when the district already has a built-in remote learning day, can be used for extra sanitization.

Poll workers will be in charge of sanitizing polling stations and equipment, such as pens and tabletops. They also will be wearing masks or a face shield and gloves if they choose, Ballard said.

An absentee ballot drop box, seen Wednesday at Hallowell City Hall. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

The state has encouraged people to vote by absentee ballot — the deadline to request them online from the Secretary of State’s office is 5 p.m. Thursday — due to the coronavirus pandemic. Most municipalities have ballot drop boxes and are allowing early in-person voting until Friday.

By the end of Monday, Gardiner had received 1,427 absentee ballots, Ballard said, and is expecting about 200 more to come in by the end of the week. She said none that have come in thus far have been denied.

“We have seen an increase in absentee voting,” Ballard said. “We can accept absentee ballots even on the day of (the election) through the mail. I’m guessing we will see 1,500 to 2,000 (in-person) voters on Tuesday.”

Gardiner City Hall will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Friday to accept absentee ballots; no other city business will be transacted at that time. Normally, the municipal building closes at noon on Fridays.

Fifty people are allowed in the gym at a time, but that also includes poll workers, poll watchers, police and any other type of staff that may be on site to help out.

Ballard predicts Gardiner will have results by early Wednesday morning. In past elections, she said, workers have stayed up until 2:30 a.m. counting ballots.

Waterville residents will cast their votes at Waterville Junior High School, 100 West River Road in Waterville, on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

A PARTIAL LISTING OF WHERE TO VOTE (unless otherwise noted, voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

ALBION — The Besse Building at 22 Main St.

ANSON — The town office at 5 Kennebec St.

AUGUSTA — Voting will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Ward 1, Augusta State Armory at 179 Western Ave.; Ward 2, Augusta City Center at 16 Cony St.; Ward 3, Augusta Civic Center at 76 Community Drive; Ward 4, Cony High School at 60 Pierce Drive. A drop box for absentee ballots is located outside the entrance to Augusta City Center.

BELGRADE — The Center for All Seasons at 1 Center Drive.

BENTON — The town office at 1279 Clinton Ave.

CHELSEA — The town office at 560 Togus Road.

CHINA — The town office at 571 Lakeview Drive from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

CLINTON — The town office at 27 Baker St.

DRESDEN — The town office at 534 Gardiner Road. An absentee ballot drop box is available there as well.

FAIRFIELD — The Community Center at 61 Water St.

FARMINGDALE — The Hall-Dale High School gymnasium at 97 Maple St.

FREEDOM — Freedom Election Hall at 71 Pleasant St. 

FAYETTE — Fayette Central School at 2023 Route 17.

GARDINER — The Gardiner Area High School gymnasium at 40 West Hill Road.

HALLOWELL — Hall-Dale Elementary School at 26 Garden Lane.

HARTLAND — The Hartland Fire Hall at 43 Canaan Road.

JEFFERSON — Jefferson Village School at 48 Washington Road.

LITCHFIELD — Litchfield Sportsman’s Club at 2782 Hallowell Road.

MADISON — Old Point Avenue School, 108 Old Point Ave.

MANCHESTER — Manchester Fire Station at 37 Readfield Road.

MERCER — The town office at 1015 Beech Hill Road.

MONMOUTH — Monmouth Academy gymnasium at 96 Academy Road.

MOUNT VERNON — Mt. Vernon Community Center at 2 Main St.

NEWPORT — Public Safety Building at 21 Water St.

NORRIDGEWOCK — Mill Stream Elementary School, 26 Mercer Road.

OAKLAND — Oakland Fire Station at 11 Fairfield St., 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

PALMYRA — Palmyra Community Center at 4 Madawaska Road. 

PITTSTON — The town office on 38 Whitefield Road. An absentee ballot drop box is also available there.

RANDOLPH — The town office at 121 Kinderhook St., where an absentee ballot drop box is also available.

READFIELD —  The Alfond Athletics Center at the Kents Hill School, at 1617 Main St.

RICHMOND —  The public works garage at 19 High St.

ROME — The town office at 8 Mercer Road.

SIDNEY — The town office at 2986 Middle Road.

SKOWHEGAN — The town office at 225 Water St., 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

SMITHFIELD — The town office at 926 Village Road.

SOMERVILLE — The town office at 72 Sand Hill Road.

ST. ALBANS —  The Town Hall at 7 Water St.

THORNDIKE — The town office at 125 Mount View Road.

UNITY — The community center at 32 School St.

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro Community School, 1116 Webber Pond Road.

WASHINGTON — The Bryant Room at Gibbs Library at 40 Old Union Road. A drop box — which normally serves as the library’s book drop — is being used where residents can drop off their absentee ballots, in front of the library/town office.

WATERVILLE — Voting will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Waterville Junior High School at 100 West River Road.

WINTHROP — The Winthrop High School gymnasium at 211 Rambler Road.

WAYNE — The Ladd Recreation Center at 26 Gott Road.

WEST GARDINER — The West Gardiner Fire Station at 322 Spears Corner Road.

WHITEFIELD — The Central Fire Station at 24 Townhouse Road.

WINDSOR — The Windsor Elementary School gymnasium at 366 Ridge Road. A drop box for absentee ballots is located outside the town office at 523 Ridge Road.

WINSLOW — The VFW Post 8835 at 175 Veteran Drive.

Winslow residents will cast their ballots at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall at 175 Veteran Drive in Winslow on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

Kennebec Journal reporters Keith Edwards, Jessica Lowell and Sam Shepherd, and Morning Sentinel reporters Taylor Abbott, Amy Calder, Greg Levinsky and Molly Shelly contributed to this report.

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