AUGUSTA, Maine--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is announcing the launch of a new digital service that will provide an accessible absentee ballot option for qualified voters with disabilities. The solution was created in partnership with digital government firm NIC Maine.
The Accessible Absentee Ballot option became available Friday, Oct. 2, as one of the options on the online absentee ballot request page for the Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 General Election.
The Department of the Secretary of State developed this new service in coordination with Maine’s digital solutions partner, NIC Maine, with guidance from advocates at Disability Rights Maine. It is intended for voters with print disabilities, which may include vision impairment or blindness, physical dexterity limitations, learning disabilities or cognitive impairment, all of which prevent the individual from independently marking a paper ballot.
“We have been encouraging people to consider absentee voting if they are concerned about going to a polling place during this pandemic,” said Secretary Dunlap, “and for voters with disabilities who wanted to vote absentee, only the mailed paper ballot was available – until now. This new service represents a significant milestone in our administration of elections in Maine, making independent absentee voting available to all Maine citizens.”
In addition to the accessible absentee ballot, the State provides the Accessible Voting System ballot-marking device at every polling place on election day, which allows any voter to use a touchscreen or controller pad/audio to independently mark their ballot.
“We are pleased that the Secretary of State’s Office has taken steps to ensure that people with print disabilities will be able to vote privately, independently and safely from their home for the November 3 general election,” said Kristin Aiello, lead counsel for Disability Rights Maine.
About NIC Maine
NIC Maine, a division of NIC Inc., manages Maine.gov through the InforME network manager contract. NIC Maine provides more than 175 digital government solutions, including online absentee ballot request, for citizens and businesses that allow for the completion of more than 2,500 different government transactions.
NIC (Nasdaq: EGOV) is a leading digital government solutions and payments company, serving more than 7,000 federal, state and local government agencies across the nation. With headquarters in Olathe, Kansas, and offices in more than 30 states, NIC partners with government to deliver user-friendly digital services that make it easier and more efficient to interact with government – providing valuable conveniences like applying for unemployment insurance, submitting business filings, renewing licenses, accessing information and making secure payments without visiting a government office. In the COVID-19 era and beyond, NIC helps government agencies rapidly deliver new digital solutions to provide essential services to citizens and businesses alike. Having served the public sector for nearly 30 years, NIC continues to evolve with its federal, state and local government partners to deliver innovative and cost-effective digital government to constituents. Learn more at www.egov.com.
Kara Cowie | NIC Inc.
Director of Corporate Communications
816-813-2350 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Andrews | NIC Maine
207-621-2600 | email@example.com