Hundreds of Houlton residents cast their votes in state primaries. Many of the voters on Tuesday did not cast their ballots in person.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic still surging in the United States, many people chose to enter their votes via an absentee ballot. The in-person voting took place at the Houlton Recreation Center. At 10 am on Tuesday, more than 300 Houlton residents casted their votes in state primaries.
“They’ve been really advising people because of COVID to do absentee balloting,” O’Leary said. “People have been great, and been following the advice of the secretary of state,” she added, referring to Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, who along with Gov. Janet Mills strongly advised voters to do absentee balloting in recent days. Also Read– France honours virus heroes on Bastille Day
The recreation center had recently undergone construction to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Stickers had been set on the floor for voters to stand six feet apart in line, glass shields were placed at registration desks and voting booths to prevent the spread of the disease.
Houlton residents cast votes using ranked-choice system
The state primaries included elections for Democratic and Republican voters. The Democratic votes were done to determine the senate challenger to incumbent Susan Collins. The candidates are Sara Gideon, Betsy Sweet and Bre Kidman. On the Republicans side, it was to determine the representative challenger to incumbent Jared Golden. The candidates are Dale Crafts, Adrienne Bennett and Eric Brakey.
Charlotte MacArthur, who voted with the Democrats, said she cast her vote for Kidman, who is one of the more progressive candidates, but also expressed doubts about the effectiveness of ranked-choice voting to determine candidates.
“I like to go in and vote, just for that person,” said MacArthur. “But instead I have to rank hers number one, or him number two. It’s like going to school.”