Maine Governor Janet Mills on Friday signed an Executive Order moving Maine’s primary election from Tuesday, June 9 to Tuesday, July 14.

The Order also allows applications for absentee ballots to be made in writing or in person up to and including the day of the election.

The delay in the primary election will provide additional time for Maine voters to request absentee ballots in order to minimize in-person interaction at the polls in light of the coronavirus outbreak. It will also allow the Maine Secretary of State’s Office more time to develop guidelines to help municipalities conduct in-person voting in as safe a manner as possible.

 “The action taken by the Governor gives assurance to all Maine voters that the primary and referendum election will be available for every qualified citizen who wishes to participate,” said Secretary of State Matt Dunlap. “Even in this time of civil emergency, our democracy will be our guide for the decisions of the future, and the Governor’s actions here will further ensure the legitimacy of our unique form of self-governance.”

The Order also extends the Maine Clean Election Act submission deadline for qualifying contributions to 5:00 p.m. on May 19, 2020 instead of April 21, 2020.