Election officials in Maine say they are being “overwhelmed” with requests for absentee ballots and that half of the state’s voters may have voted by election day.
Political experts said the push to vote absentee is changing the way campaigns are run, and a whole new strategy has arisen because of it. “It’s possible now that half the voters will have voted by Election Day,” said Dennis Bailey, a political consultant. During a leaf-letting campaign on Saturday for Question 1, which voters will decide whether to allow same-sex marriages in Maine, supporters of the No on 1 campaign went door-to-door to ask voters if they wanted an absentee ballot sent to them. Experts said there’s a reason why campaigns want voters to vote early. “You want to use your resources strategically to get as many as you can before then,” Bailey said. “So, on Election Day, you can still target and drive out the voters but you’ll be happy to know that almost half of your voters are already out and you know who they are.” It’s a matter of public record to find out who has already voted and who has not. Campaigns are getting daily or weekly lists from City Halls across the state so they know who has already voted and who they can still pursue.
Let’s hope this works out in our favor. I’m hearing a similar situation is unfolding in Washington state.