AUGUSTA — Maine had record-breaking voter turnout in the Nov. 3 election, which was conducted safely despite the global pandemic, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Tuesday.

Nearly 78% of registered voters cast ballots in the presidential race, either by absentee ballot or in person on Election Day, and there’s no record of any COVID-19 outbreak investigations associated with polling places, Dunlap said.

“Voting in-person in Maine was a safe option even during this pandemic, which is a testament to our partnerships and the impressive dedication of our municipal clerks in implementing the disease prevention measures for voters and election workers,” he said.

Election staff worked closely with the Maine Center for Disease Control and the governor’s office to develop guidelines and provide protective equipment to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus on Election Day.

Safety measures included limiting the number of voters inside a polling place, sanitizing voting booths, installing table-top sneeze guards at the ballot tables, and requiring face coverings for poll workers, Dunlap said. Maine companies FlowFold and L.L. Bean donated face shields and face masks to election staff and poll workers, he said.

A new secretary of state will be named when lawmakers convene Wednesday in Augusta. Dunlap has served four consecutive terms and cannot seek another because of term limits.


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