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Secure ballot and mail boxes are in place at town offices

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 13, 2020
Photo by: Jodi Hanson Camden's ballot drop box is set up outside the town office front door by Rick Seibel, Public Works Department and Jack Orestis,Camden Fire Department.

CAMDEN — Residents of the towns of Camden, Rockport, Appleton and Lincolnville can drop off completed absentee ballots in secure ballot and mail boxes at their town offices.

Ballots also can be completed at all of the town offices during business hours, including the Hope town office. In addition, requests for absentee ballots can still be made by telephone, by mail, in person and by using the state absentee ballot system.

Absentee ballots for state and federal elections were distributed to town offices around Oct. 1. Many ballots were requested before Oct. 1, and those were mailed when the ballots arrived.

Camden Town Clerk Katrina Oakes said after receiving the ballots, she had a team come in at 8 a.m. Oct. 3 to fulfill the nearly 1,600 absentee ballot requests to be mailed.

Now that the ballots are available, ballots are mailed out daily during business hours.

On Oct. 13, Rockport Town Clerk Linda Greenlaw said she has distributed about 1,200 absentee ballots and about 300 ballots have been returned. Completed ballots can be dropped into a slot at the side door of the town office. The slot sends the ballots into a locked box inside. Greenlaw has ordered and is waiting for one of the new ballot boxes that are being issued by the Governor's office.

Oakes said that by mid-day Oct. 13, she had issued 2,196 ballots (this includes the 1,600 previously mailed). She said 1,209 completed absentee ballots have been returned to the town office.

Camden has its 'Official Ballot Box' from the state, located outside the front door of the town office on Elm Street.

Appleton Town Clerk Pam Smith has taken care of 349 requests for absentee ballots so far. At the Appleton town office, there is a sealed ballot drop box outside the back door.

The town of Hope had processed about 400 absentee ballots on Oct. 9, according to Erica Tompkins who is the Summerville town clerk, and is assisting at the Hope town office. The 400 are a combination of about 300 ballots mailed to residents and 100 walk-ins to the town office, she said. The town is also waiting for a new ballot box ordered from the state.

Lincolnville Deputy Town Clerk Karen Secotte had taken care of 774 requests for absentee ballots by Oct. 8, and expected that number to top 800 by the end of the day Oct. 13.

Lincolnville has a secure and locked mailbox outside of the town office by the front door where ballots can be left. The box is checked several times a day, Secotte said. The town has also ordered a new drop box from the state, which was expected to be sent the first week of October, and has not yet arrived.

Camden's secure absentee ballot drop box was installed by Public Works and Fire Department staff Oct. 8. Using this ballot box, Camden voters can safely deposit their completed absentee ballot envelopes into the box any time of day or night, according to Finance Director Jodi Hanson.

Oakes is responsible for emptying the box once a day. The envelopes are then under her guardianship, locked away and secured until all absentee ballots are processed just prior to election day.

In collaboration with the Department of the Secretary of State, Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions, the town of Camden is eligible to received 80% reimbursement for the purchase of the ballot drop box, Hanson said.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Jay Feyler | Oct 13, 2020 15:11

The time of Union has had their box up for two elections now.

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