An election primer for Midcoast voters

By Stephen Betts | Feb 14, 2020

Feb. 14 is the final day for registered Maine voters who are enrolled in a political party to switch parties in order to vote March 3.

Registered voters who are not enrolled in a party can enroll in a party between now and including election day Tuesday, March 3.

Maine residents who will turn 18 years old by March 3 can also register to vote anytime between now and on Election Day.

Rockland City Clerk Stuart Sylvester said anyone wanting to register as a new voter will need to show proof of identification -- driver's license, passport, or state identification card -- and proof of residency. That can include a utility bill that includes your name and physical address (not a post office box). A driver's license, for example, could be used if it includes the physical address.

Sylvester pointed out that if you enroll in a party you must remain enrolled for three months at which time you can file a request to change. That takes about 15 days, meaning whatever party you are enrolled in on March 3 will be the same party you will be enrolled in for the June 9 primary.

Voters who have a handicap can have someone join them in the voting booth to help cast a vote. The only exceptions are the person assisting can not be their employer or an agent of a labor union, the clerk said.

Polls will open either at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. on Election Day, depending on the community. All communities will keep polls open until 8 p.m.

Municipal voting officials will go to certain licensed residential care facilities before election day to allow them to vote absentee.

Absentee ballots are also available at municipal offices for all individuals who are registered or who will register.

On the ballot will be a citizen's veto effort of a law that eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions for immunization against certain diseases for students to attend schools, along with employees of nursery schools and health care facilities. The law retains the right to have exemptions for medical reasons.

People registered in the Democratic and Republican parties can also cast their ballot for their candidates.

President Donald Trump of Palm Beach, Fla. is uncontested on the Republican primary ballot.

Democrats, however, have several choices.

Former Vice President Joseph Biden of Wilmington, Del.; Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Peter Buttigieg; U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Honolulu, Hawai'i; U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minneapolis, Minn.; Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick of Richmond, Mass.; U.S. Sen. Bernard Sanders of Burlington, Vt.; businessman Thomas Steyer of San Francisco; U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Cambridge, Mass.; businessman Andrew Yang of New York City; U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of Newark, N.J.; and author and activist Marianne Williamson of Des Moines, Iowa will have their names on the ballot.

Booker, Patrick, Williamson and Yang have dropped out of the race, but their names will remain on the ballot because the state ballots have already been printed.

Other candidates could drop out before March 3. The Nevada caucuses are Feb. 22, and the South Carolina primary Feb. 29 prior to Maine's primary vote.

Maine will send 24 delegates to the Democratic convention to select a nominee. A candidates needs 1,990 delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Gerald A Weinand | Feb 14, 2020 17:32

A reminder that Maine Democrats will still caucusing this year on 8 March. While how the delegates to the national convention are apportioned will be determined via the 3 March election, there is still other Party business to address. This includes electing town Party leaders, delegates to the State Convention in Bangor, and other matters.


Rockland Democrats will be caucusing in the new cafeteria at Oceanside High School - doors open at 2 with biz starting promptly at 3.


A complete list of all Maine Dems caucuses can be found here:

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