Top election official: Maine turnout ‘heavier than expected’

March 4, 2020 GMT

PORTLAND, Manie (AP) — Turnout in Maine’s primary election is heavier than expected, Maine’s top election official said Tuesday.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said he’d projected a 15 percent turnout. But it appears that turnout will surpass that projection, he told reporters in Portland.

There were so many voters that some towns ran short of ballots and received permission to photocopy extra ballots to be counted by hand, said Kristen Schulze Muszynski, spokeswoman for the secretary of state.

Maine is holding its first presidential primary in 20 years after using caucuses for the previous four election cycles.

There are a dozen candidates on the Democratic ballot, but half of them have dropped out. On the GOP ballot, the only candidate is Republican President Donald Trump.


Also on the statewide ballot is a referendum on whether to keep or reject a state law eliminating philosophical and religious exemptions for childhood vaccines.

Dunlap said the election was running smoothly.

Noting concerns about the coronavirus, Dunlap said election officials will discuss options if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow ahead of the next election in June.