Voice of the Voter: High voter turnout in Maine primary Voice of the Voter: High voter turnout in Maine primary ...
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By Laurie Dobson
Cranberry Isles My five-island town here in Maine ran out of ballots at 5:30PM on Super Tuesday, March 3. We had to call the election office of the Secretary of State to try to get more. They sent a photocopy of a ballot to make extra copied ballots for people still coming to vote. Some people could not wait the extra half hour it took to do this and left.
Why did we run out? We have 26 Democrats and 22 Undeclared voters living here, so we should have been sent 48 available Democratic Ballots. Why were we only given 9? From our first call to the State officials at 6 PM until polls closed at 8 PM, our phone calls to the elections numbers (207)-624-7650 or (888)868-3763 did not get through (always busy!).
Were election workers in other towns trying to get through and also having their calls dropped or not answered?
We did have 42 ballots available for Republicans here, but only nine for Democrats, another instance of apparent misallocation or worse.
Islesford, the island next to ours, (which shares our town's name of Cranberry Isles), had a few more registered voters; they got 12 Democratic ballots and had only one left by 5:30 PM. Their population is similar to ours.
Our town clerk, Denise McCormick, called the day before the election to say that we did not have enough ballots, and was told that she "would have enough." She was later told that she could photocopy a ballot sent by the Secretary of State. Permission to reprint ballots had to be given in each case by the Sec. of State.