Sen. Miramant introduces bill to explore potential automatic vote-by-mail system

Sat, 04/24/2021 - 3:45pm

    AUGUSTA — Senator Dave Miramant, D-Camden, introduced a bill this week that would direct the Secretary of State to study the options for establishing an automatic vote-by-mail system in Maine.

    LD 1354, “Resolve, To Study the Establishment of a System of Voting by Mail,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee.

    “Over 20 years ago, Oregon became the first state to conduct its elections exclusively by mail-in voting. Since then, I have been studying the system developed in Oregon and have even met with and talked to several of their legislators about the challenges and successes in establishing vote-by-mail in their state,” said Sen. Miramant. “This has increased voter participation and is more in line with the convenience that many voters enjoyed during the recent presidential election.”

    Joann Bautista, Deputy Secretary of State Policy Advisor, testified in favor of the bill.

    “Currently, approximately 21 states allow some form of vote by mail. Of those 21 states, five states – Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington – conduct all their elections by mail. Following the 2020 presidential election, Colorado was second in the country for voter participation. Maine was third in the country – but as a leader in election processes and policy, we can do better,” said Bautista. “The study will allow us to analyze and review all aspects of automatic vote by mail so that we can be deliberate and thoughtful about considering implementation in our great state.”

    LD 1354 faces further action in committee.