Tuesday, November 3, is Election Day in the United States this year. In Maine, voters will have the opportunity to vote for candidates at the municipal, state, and federal levels. The outcomes of all of these election races will impact life for everyone in Maine and the United States for years to come.

To vote, you must be a citizen, at least 18 years of age, have established a primary residence in Maine, and be registered. So, if you have never voted before, but are a citizen, please register to vote! Everyone’s voice is important to our democracy. Estimates in Cumberland, York, and Androscoggin alone indicate over 14K+ eligible immigrant voters in Maine.

To register, you can fill out a voter registration card at your town office or city hall, through any Division of Motor Vehicle branch office, and in most state and federal social service agencies. Registering is something you only need to do once; however, if you move, please contact your town office or city hall to let them know.

Many people are choosing to vote by absentee ballot this year rather than in person because of COVID-19. If you want to vote by absentee ballot, please make a request right away. The easiest way to ask for a ballot is to call your town office or city hall. The ballot will be mailed to your home 30 days before the election. If you have not yet registered, you will also be sent a registration card.

When you receive your absentee ballot, you will need to fill it out, seal it, sign the outside of the envelope, and mail it back to your town office or city hall. All ballots must be returned by 8:00 p.m. on November 3 to be counted. Late ballots will not be counted, so it is important to vote early – no one knows if the mail service will be able to efficiently handle the number of ballots expected to be cast absentee this year. Also note that in some municipalities the envelope may require extra postage, while in others the postage will be covered by the town or city. Some municipalities also have drop-off boxes near their offices where you can deposit the envelope with your completed ballot, rather than mail it.

Amjambo Africa will run an election issue in October, so stay tuned for information on the candidates and their positions on the issues.