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Freeport, ME, October 1, 2020

L.L.Bean Donates PPE for Election Poll Volunteers

Voting in the Midst of a Pandemic

As schools, restaurants and businesses continue to grapple with how to safely reopen, polling stations across the nation are also working to ensure safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic for poll workers, volunteers, and voters.

According to the US Election Assistance Committee, 56% of election poll volunteers in 2016 were above the age of 60, making volunteering during a pandemic a risk that many would-be volunteers are not comfortable taking this year. This dilemma has created a unique scenario for staff at polling locations for Election Day. Even if volunteers are confirmed, there is the added task of providing adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff.

Meanwhile in Maine

In our home state, L.L.Bean is combining efforts with Flowfold to donate 8,000 each of face shields and face masks to Maine poll volunteers.

“Similar to our mask-making efforts for frontline workers earlier this year, we want to use our resources and talent to the best of our ability to help our communities across the state,” said Marie McCarthy, L.L.Bean Chief Operations and People Officer.

In April 2020, L.L. Bean announced it was making face masks for healthcare workers across the state using the company’s dog bed liners – as the material was not only readily available for quick access, but it is also breathable, liquid resistant, durable, and washable.

This partnership comes during a critical time of confirming polling locations and implementing safety precautions to guard against COVID-19.

“We are incredibly grateful to have these two upstanding Maine companies recognize the importance of supporting our election workers with protective equipment this year,” said Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap. “We are very appreciative of this donation, which will help limit the spread of the pandemic while people exercise their right to vote.”

Masks will be shipped to Augusta for distribution across the state ahead of November 3.

“We pivoted to making PPE to help members of our community, be it medical professionals, teachers, business owners, or individuals,” said Devin McNeill, CEO and co-founder of Flowfold. “With the challenges posed by COVID we're proud to join with L.L.Bean and the State of Maine to ensure poll volunteers have access to the PPE they need.”