Absentee totals are in; straggling ballots, tallies to come

First ballots mailed after announcement of council write-ins
By Ethan Andrews | Nov 02, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews Voting stations at Belfast City Hall remained in place Nov. 2 to accommodate voters with special circumstances that would prevent them from voting on Election Day.

Belfast — The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot passed on Nov. 1, though several exceptions still apply. As of Nov. 2, the city had issued 1,148 ballots at the request of voters and received 915 back.

The total absentee vote will be lower than in 2016, a presidential election year, when 1,447, or about 36 percent, of the 4,024 ballots cast in Belfast were absentee. Statewide reports suggest that absentee voting could break records for a gubernatorial election in Maine.

Belfast currently has 5,392 registered voters.

The city started issuing absentee ballots early in October, according to City Clerk Amy Flood. That was after the entry of two write-in candidates for City Council, who joined the race Oct. 1, before any early ballots were cast.

Outstanding absentee ballots still can be returned to the City Clerk's office at City Hall, 131 Church St., until 5 p.m. Nov. 5, or can be hand-delivered at polling sites on Election Day.

Voters with special circumstances that prevent them from going to the polls may still request an absentee ballot. Special circumstances include an unexpected absence from town during the entire hours of the polls on Election Day, and a physical disability or illness that prevents the voter from leaving home or a treatment facility. Those who live in a coastal island ward or precinct and cannot travel to the polls on Election Day also are eligible for absentee ballots.

Polls for the general election will be open Tuesday, Nov. 6, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wards 1-4 vote at the Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St. Ward 5 votes at United Methodist Church, 23 Mill Lane.

The city will have an extra ballot tabulating machine at each polling site this year for ranked-choice races.

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