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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voter Registration in Maine

Eligibility

  • Age: Be at least 17 years of age (you must be at least 18 years of age to vote, except that in primary elections you may vote if you are 17 but will be 18 by the general election). Early registration can begin at 16 years of age.
  • Incarcerated individuals: If you are incarcerated in a correctional facility or in a county jail, you are entitled to register to vote in the Maine municipality where you previously established residency prior to incarceration.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: Must have established and maintain a voting residence in the municipality (i.e. city, town, plantation or unorganized township) where you seek to register.
  • College students can either vote absentee in their home state or register to vote in ME. Students residing outside of ME can either vote absentee for their permanent Maine address, or register to vote in their new state.
  • Check to see if you are already registered or contact your local registrar

More information from the Bureau of Corporations, Elections, & Commissions

Deadline

  • When registering to vote in person at your town office or city hall, there is no deadline.
  • When registering to vote by mail, your registration form must arrive 21 days before election day, by the end of the business day.
  • When registering to vote by registration drive, you must register 21 days before election day, by the end of the business day.
  • Upcoming elections
  • Voter Guidelines

Mail-in registration

Printable forms: 
Fillable PDF
Word Doc

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party:   

You must choose a political party affiliation when you register, or you can choose the option for 'unenrolled.' Political party options are Democrat, Republican, or Green Independent.                 

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move, name change, or change of political party affiliation, use the voter registration form.

Cancelling registration

The Registrar of Voters in each town maintains the voter rolls. To remove someone from a voter roll, contact the local Registrar of Voters.

Directory of Registrars

ID Requirements for Maine Voters

ID Requirements for Registration

In Person Registration

You can register to vote at your local town office or city hall, any Motor Vehicle branch offices, most state or federal social service agencies, or at a voter registration drive. You will need to complete a registration form and provide the following:

  • Driver's license number, OR
  • State identification number, OR
  • Last four digits of Social Security number

AND

  • Some form of identity document listing your name and primary residence address (such as a utility bill, driver's license, or paycheck stub).

Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration, but you must provide one of the documents listed on the form to verify residence: You can print the voter registration form by going to the State of Maine Voter Guide, or you can contact your town clerk to have them mail it to you. To find where to mail your voter registration form, check the Listing of Municipal Clerks & Registrars. You will need to complete the form and provide the following:

  • Driver’s license number, OR
  • State identification number, OR
  • Last four digits of Social Security number

AND

  • You must send a copy of your identity document listing your name and primary residence address (such as a utility bill, driver's license, or paycheck stub).

ID Requirements for Voting

Maine Voters

Voters in ME do not need to show ID to get a ballot.

Maine voters are allowed to cast a challenged ballot, but may be required to show ID after the election.

Voter rights information is listed here.

First Time Voters

If you did not present ID when registering to vote, you will be required to present ID and a copy of your identity document.

Casting a Ballot in Maine

Important Dates

  • State Primary Election: July 14, 2020
  • General (Presidential) Election and Potential State Referendum Election: November 3, 2020
  • Early voting: Vote by absentee ballot. If voting by mail, ballots must be received by 8 P.M. on election day. If voting in person in the presence of the municipal clerk, ballots must be completed and turned in the Thursday before election day (unless special circumstances exist).
  • Call your town office or city hall for information on hours during the pandemic.

Absentee voting

Opening/closing dates

  • Absentee ballots are provided by the municipal clerk beginning 30 days before an election
  • You can request an absentee ballot 3 months before election day and until the 3rd business day prior to the election
  • You can also request an absentee ballot through election day if voting absentee in-person in the presence of the municipal clerk
  • Absentee ballots for the July 14 State Primary and Special Referendum Election will be available until 5:00 PM Thursday, July 9th if requested by phone or online.
  • Absentee ballots for the November 3 general election are due to the Town Clerk by 8:00 PM. 

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

  • To request a ballot, fill out the Federal Post Card Application or use this Online Ballot Request to get a ballot
  • "Remember to choose how you want your ballot to be sent to you-either by mail or electronically." If you choose electronically, you will be sent additional instructions.
  • Overseas ballots must be received by the Elections Division by 8:00 PM on election day
  • For the July 14 State Primary, you must register to vote and/or request your ballot by 5:00 PM July 13, 2020.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

Everyone is eligible to use an absentee ballot.

  • You do not need a specific reason to vote by absentee ballot

Application for Absentee Ballot

Polling places and hours

  • Use the Polling Place Locator to find your polling place, or the Maine Voter Information Lookup Service
  • For a general election, primary, or referenda, polls in Maine begin opening from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m depending on the size of the town, and all close at 8 p.m.
  • Time off to vote: Maine does not require employers to give employees time off to vote.

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

  • Lyft provides free or discounted rides in some underserved communities
  • Political parties sometimes arrange rides for voters. Contact the local office:

Help for voters with disabilities

  • The Secretary of State "has worked with municipalities to enhance the physical accessibility of voting places as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA)."
  • The State of Maine provides Accessible Voting Systems at all polling places via ExpressVote. "The ExpressVote is a ballot-marking device that allows individuals with disabilities to vote with privacy and independence." It has touchscreen, keypad, and audio interfaces.
  • Voters in ME may also bring along a 3rd party to assist them when voting. This person does not have to be registered to vote or old enough to vote, but may not be your employer or union representative.

Ballots

Where to get more info on candidates: check the printed State Voter Guide for more information.

Referenda

Sample ballots

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In Maine, a voter must be a member of a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2020)

Representative (elected every two years)

State (even years)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Attorney General, Judges of Probate (elected every four years; next election in 2022)

State Senator (elected every two years)

State Representative (elected every two years)

Statewide ballot measures

Municipal (odd years)

School Board and other boards and commissions

Mayor or First Selectman

Town Clerk

Registrar of Voters

Tax Collector

Treasurer

Aldermen or Selectmen

Constable

Local ballot measures

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Important Dates

Election Day is November 3, 2020

Dates of municipal elections can be found in the printed State Voter Guide

Who conducts elections?

  • The Maine Secretary of State is the Commissioner of Elections and oversees statewide and local elections
  • The Registrars of Voters maintains voter rolls for each municipality
  • Town Clerks prepare ballots and administer balloting for each municipality

Voter Bill of Rights

English

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

In the State of Maine, many elections questions or complaints are solved at the local level. Questions and complaints may be sent to the Elections Division of the Secretary of State's Office or call 207-624-7650. "In compliance with section 402 of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the Secretary of State has also established an administrative complaint procedure to resolve alleged violations of Title III of HAVA. The new process established by rule is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the more expedient process of resolving election complaints informally by communicating directly with local or state election officials as described above. Individuals wishing to file a complaint under the administrative complaint procedure must complete the Administrative Complaint Procedure Complaint Form."

Campaign finance

The Maine Ethics Commission provides access to candidates’ election committee and Political Action Committee campaign finance filings. "Candidates who are registered with the Commission are required to file their campaign finance reports electronically. Information entered into the e-filing system is not made available to the public until the report is filed by the candidate or treasurer. To find out more about electronic filing, please contact the Candidate Registrar assigned to the legislative district for the candidate."

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your elected officials by using the Voter Information Lookup Service. State Officials are listed on Maine's government portal.

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.