The new centralized system will help state and municipal-level election officials maintain voter rolls, facilitate absentee and in-person voting and capture voter participation history.
To make needed upgrades to its election systems and improve voter access, Maine is getting a modernized centralized voter registration and election management system.
On April 15, Secretary of State Shenna Bellows signed a $1.8 million contract with Stonewall Solutions. The centralized system will help state and municipal-level election officials securely maintain voter rolls, facilitate absentee and in-person voting and capture voter participation history. Public-facing online portals will accommodate absentee ballot requests and tracking, online voter registration and voter information lookup, according to a release. A centralized system will also increase election security, better protect voters’ personally identifiable information and improve voter list maintenance and election administration consistency.
Maine’s current system, which officials called the first statewide Central Voter Registration system, was launched in 2007, after the Help America Vote Act of 2002 identified issues in voting systems and voter access following the 2000 election. A June 2021 request for information for a central voter registration and election management system said the current system would not be able to accommodate potential future election law changes.
Since there is no county-level election administration in Maine, elections require coordination between the state and the state’s approximately 500 municipalities, where voting takes place.
The technology solutions will be tailored to meet Maine’s election security needs, according to John Condon, president of Stonewall Solutions, which also developed a central voter registration system for Rhode Island and is also currently building one for Massachusetts.
“Technology modernization has allowed election administration to be more efficient and secure over the last couple decades,” Bellows said. “We’re excited to be moving forward on a new Central Voter Registration system for Maine with a partner who has a proven track record of providing the backbone of election administration: a secure, statewide voter list with features that will ease election administration for Maine’s hard working local election clerks, and for voters themselves.”