Maine on Friday postponed its primary election in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and allow more time to count mail-in and absentee ballots.
Gov. Janet Mills signed the legislation into effect Friday. It moves election day from June 9 to July 14.
The state already voted on presidential candidates in March but was set to vote on local and U.S. Senate candidates June 9.
“A person’s right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and I take seriously government’s responsibility to ensure that every Maine person has the opportunity to have their voice heard and to do so in a way that protects their health and safety during this unprecedented pandemic,” Mills said in a statement.
The move comes after Wisconsin officials chose to push forward with their scheduled election day, despite the pandemic and a stay-at-home order. Thousands of residents were forced to wait in long lines, while others abstained from voting.
The move allows applications for absentee ballots to be obtained and filed up until the July 14 date. Absentee ballots already issued are still valid.