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New Guide Spells Out Voting Rights of Maine Citizens Residing in Long-Term Care Facilities

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A new guide offering a summary of the voting rights of Maine citizens who reside in long-term care facilities is now available. Due to COVID-19, the Maine Secretary of State developed guidance to safely ensure that all residents of long-term care facilities have the ability to exercise their right to vote. The new guide, Yes, You Can Vote!, offers comprehensive information for long-term care facility residents, their loved ones, and facility staff and administrators.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, voting in long-term care facilities will be different this election compared with other years. In the past, municipal clerks came into facilities and conducted voting for residents prior to Election Day. Residents didn’t need to arrange for transportation to the polls nor did they need to request an absentee ballot in advance. However, because of the threat COVID-19 poses for long-term care facility residents and staff, Governor Janet Mills waived the requirement that municipal clerks enter facilities to administer voting in the November 3rd election.

Yes, You Can Vote! offers guidance on voting rights, how to vote absentee and how to properly assist a voter in the voting process. The guide also provides details regarding the accessible absentee ballot system now being implemented that will allow blind, visually impaired and print-disabled people to vote independently and privately.

Yes, You Can Vote! was developed by AARP Maine, Disability Rights Maine and Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program in collaboration with the Maine Secretary of State.

For more information, please visit the Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Voting Rights website which features additional resource links and a Yes, You Can Vote! video with Trish Thorsen, Ombudsman Program Manager, Rick Langley and Lori Parham.

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