Tuesday is presidential primary election day in Maine. There’s no better way to reinvigorate the democratic spirit in you than to cast a vote for a worthy candidate or against one who didn’t impress. So, make sure you head to the polls.
Voting is simple but important. If you are registered, you just need to show up at your local polling place on Tuesday. Don’t know where it is? Visit maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy/voter_lookup.php, type in your home address, and you’ll find out. It wouldn’t hurt to bring identification, though you shouldn’t need it.
Not registered? Bring identification — a photo ID works but so does a piece of mail that proves you live where you say you live — and head to the polls. Maine is one of 21 states that allows you to register on Election Day.
Even if there is a problem with your registration, you still can vote under Maine’s challenged ballot law, so there’s no reason to leave a polling place without having your say. If you make a mistake on a ballot, you can take it to a volunteer at the polling place and ask for another.
“It’s important to remember that election officials are your trusted source for unbiased, accurate information about elections,” Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reiterated in a recent BDN column.
For the first time in 20 years, Democrats and Republicans will vote in presidential primaries in Maine. Last year, the Legislature approved primary voting after complaints about the state’s 2016 presidential caucuses.
Tuesday’s big draw is expected to be the Democratic primary where registered party members will vote on the Democratic nominees to challenge President Donald Trump in November. Ranked-choice voting will not be used in this election.
Several candidates — Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang — will appear on the Maine ballot even though they have dropped out of the presidential race. The candidates still in the Democratic race are: Joe Biden, Mike Bloomberg, Tulsi Gabbard, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
Trump is the only name on the Republican Party ballot in Maine.
All registered voters can and should vote on Question 1, a statewide people’s veto that seeks to overturn a law passed last year that would eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions to Maine vaccine requirements. These exemptions have been on the rise in Maine. Medical exemptions remain in the new law, which broadens the types of medical providers who can provide exemptions while also easing the requirements for such opt-outs.
If you want to overturn the new law, vote yes. If you want to keep it in place, vote no. The Secretary of State’s Office has prepared a citizen’s guide to Question 1, which is available on its website.
If you still need more information about who the presidential candidates are or whether you support or oppose the people’s veto, visit the secretary of state’s website or check out the BDN’s voter guide.
Turnout is expected to be low — around 20 percent. But, many of your friends and neighbors have likely already had their say, as a bout a third of Maine voters cast their ballots early. So, make sure your voice is heard, too, by heading to the polls on Tuesday.