Maine City Holds Another Election With Covid-19 Protocols

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine's largest city was scheduled to hold another local election with some coronavirus protocols in place on Tuesday.

Portland's municipal election included a crowded field for Charter Commission and a referendum on the school budget. City officials said polling places would be open and they would look the same as they did in November.

That meant booths were spread apart, election workers wore masks and sanitation measures were in effect. The city also encouraged residents to use absentee ballots if they preferred. The last day to request an absentee ballot was June 4 for most people.

“Polling locations will look different in light of COVID-19 safety measures. This means that booths will be spread out, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray will be plentiful, and election workers will have plexiglass barriers, face shields, and masks,” the city said on its website.

City officials said voters were encouraged but not required to wear a mask. Polls were scheduled to close at 8 p.m. That's also when absentee ballots were due back.

In other pandemic news in Maine:

THE NUMBERS

It was another day of declining rates of infections and deaths from coronavirus in Maine.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 166.14 new cases per day on May 23 to 67.86 new cases per day on June 6. The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Maine did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 2.71 deaths per day on May 23 to 2.00 deaths per day on June 6.

The AP is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said the state has been the site of 840 deaths and more than 68,000 infections since the start of the pandemic.

About 54% of the state's total population is fully vaccinated. That's one of the highest rates in the nation.