Action Under the Dome for Monday, November 16

Monday, November 16, 2020
Jen Lancaster

This dawn-of-the-new-week newsletter started out the year as the Action Under the Dome. Once the threat of COVID-19 became very real and the Maine Legislature adjourned, we switched gears and adapted this space to bring you updates on how the pandemic might affect our elections. 

It's been quite a year — and an incredible election cycle. It's not over yet. You've likely encountered rampant misinformation across social media with claims of voter fraud and a stolen election. Elections are run in thousands of counties, cities, and towns across America, each of them with a slightly different procedure or way of doing things, but all with many dedicated public servants and lots of public and media observation. There is integrity to the process.

We will keep you updated on vital election updates, but in the meantime, we are bringing back Action Under the Dome updates every Monday. #BackInBusiness.



Federal Election 2020 Deadlines: December 8 is the deadline for resolving election disputes at the state level. On December 14, presidential electors vote by paper ballot in their respective states and the District of Columbia. The new 117th Congress will be sworn in on January 3, 2021. Of course, there will be a lame duck session of Congress between now and then. On January 6, the US House and Senate hold a joint session to count the electoral votes. If one ticket has received 270 or more electoral votes, the president of the Senate, currently Vice President Mike Pence, announces the results. And finally, on January 20, the president-elect is sworn into office on Inauguration Day.

What's next in Maine: Certified election results are due from the Secretary of State twenty days after the election, November 23, 2020. On November 20, there will be recounts in House districts 96 and 98 in Waldo County. The 130th Maine Legislature will be sworn in on December 2 and elect leadership and constitutional officers on that day. 

New Leadership in the Legislature: House Democrats chose Rep. Ryan Fecteau of Biddeford as their choice for speaker of the house. Rep. Michelle Dunphy will be majority leader and Rep. Rachel Talbot Ross will be assistant majority leader. House Republicans chose Rep. Kathleen Dillingham of Oxford as minority leader and Rep. Joel Stetkis of Canaan as assistant minority leader.

Senate Democrats again chose Sen. Troy Jackson of Allagash as senate president, and Sen. Nate Libby of Lewiston and Sen. Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic as their floor leaders. Senate Republicans chose Sen. Jeff Timberlake of Turner and Sen. Matt Pouliot of Augusta as their floor leaders. 



Maine's election was successfully conducted, and we are very proud of the work of our elected officials, pollworkers, observers and voters! We are still compiling data and stories for our complete post-election report, but we wanted you to see a sneak preview, focused on our Election Day observation efforts and communications. Check it out here