We are entering a voting season of singular importance. No longer do we vote only on Election Day. We have other choices: Vote absentee either by mail or in person and early. The latter option is not getting the needed attention.

I can obtain an absentee ballot using the online absentee ballot request form or at my town hall.

If I get my ballot by using the absentee ballot request form, the ballot will be mailed to me and I can mail the ballot to the address provided, making sure to sign the envelope. Or I can return it directly to the town hall in person. If I want to do the whole process at the town hall, I go the day that ballots are available in early October. I get and fill out the ballot there and return it to the clerk in the secured envelope.

An advantage to applying for an absentee ballot is that someone can bring in the ballots of close family members, such as elderly parents, as long as their ballots are in the secured, signed envelope.

In this time of division, unrest and an evolving pandemic, we have an obligation to vote. And as President Barack Obama said, we must have a plan. Early, in-person voting is a vital option no one is talking about.

For an absentee ballot, visit Maine’s Absentee Voting Guide. For the dates that ballots are available in your town, call your town hall; for phone numbers, visit the secretary of state’s list of town clerks.

Jo Trafford
Portland

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