The city has already received more absentee ballots for this year's presidential election than in 2016, according to City Clerk Amy Flood. City employees will be available during several days before the Nov. 3 election for ballot drop-offs.

Belfast had received 2,007 absentee ballots out of 5,796 total registered voters as of the Oct. 20 City Council meeting, Flood said. This is an increase from the 2016 presidential election, where the city received 1,405 absentee ballots. There were 1,650 absentee ballots submitted for the July primary this year.

Flood said she and city staff will be accepting and processing ballots from Friday, Oct. 30, to Monday, Nov. 2, starting at 9 a.m. each day. Poll watchers will be able to observe during this time and inspect ballots from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. if requested ahead of time.

The last day for absentee voting is Oct. 30 and ballots received in the mail after that will be processed on Election Day, Flood said. An immediate family member can return ballots for people who requested an absentee ballot in writing but not those electronically requested.

She and city staff are averaging 10 minutes per voter to process election material on top of fulfilling regular clerk duties and services, she said.

Sample ballots are on the city website. Voting will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and polling locations for the city are as follows:

  • Wards 1 and 2 will vote at the Belfast Boathouse,

  • Wards 3 and 4 will vote at The Crosby Center,

  • Ward 5 will vote at the Belfast United Methodist Church.

Masks and sanitizer will be available at each polling location and the city encourages people to use them, but is not requiring people to wear face masks in order to vote.