If you are a Portland voter who requested an absentee ballot using this link – portlandmaine.gov/325/Elections-Voting – and you did not receive your ballot, then perhaps what happened to my family also happened to yours.

My family (of four registered Portland voters) requested absentee ballots on April 29 using the above link. On May 12, after two weeks and no ballots, I called the City Clerk’s office and was told that the link had gone up before the actual ballots were ready.

It sounded like a reasonable story, so I waited another week. Still no ballots. I called the City Clerk’s office again and was told that there was no record of anyone in my family having requested absentee ballots. The City Clerk’s office staff was apologetic and very helpful at trying to make sure that we do get to cast absentee ballots for the June 8 special election, and we are appreciative of their efforts.

We are also worried. Voting should be clear, easy and straightforward, not difficult, stressful and fraught with obstacles.

If any other Portland voter has requested an absentee ballot using the link and not received it within a reasonable amount of time, call the City Clerk’s office. Keep asking for your ballot. Don’t just sit and wait; your ballot may not be on its way to you.

I hope that the City Council investigates whatever went wrong with this absentee ballot system, so that whatever the problem is gets fixed before the next election.

Kelley McDaniel
Portland

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