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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voting and advocacy resources by librarians for librarians

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.
  • Homeless/Displaced persons: If you are homeless or living in a shelter, you are entitled to register to vote in the Maine municipality where you currently reside, even if you have a non-traditional address such as a park bench or other physical location. You may submit a physical description of your place of residence, under oath, to your municipal clerk in lieu of other residency documentation. Voters who are homeless are not required to present a mailing address in order to register to vote.
  • 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

To register to vote in Maine, you must:
• Be a citizen of the United States;
• Be at least 16 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);
• Have established and maintain a voting residence in the municipality (i.e. city, town, plantation or unorganized township) where you seek to register.

When to Register

Maine offers same-day registration during the early voting period as well as on Election Day.
If you don’t wish to register and vote on the same day, you can register by mail or in person. 
Mail: Your voter registration must be received 21 days before Election Day.
In person: There is no deadline to register in person.

Pre-registration

You can pre-register to vote in Maine when you turn 16 years old.

How to register to vote:

You can register to vote by filling out a voter registration card at your town office or city hall, through any Motor Vehicle branch office, in most state & federal social service agencies, or at voter registration drives.
You can also download and print a Maine voter registration application here. Please note that both sides of the card will print on one page.

Maine Voter Registration Application  –    Fillable PDF       Word
Instructions for completing the Maine Voter Registration Application

If you cannot print the voter registration application, contact your town clerk to have a voter registration card mailed to you. A printed version of the voter registration card, with your original signature, must be kept on file by your town clerk, so the card cannot be transmitted electronically.

Completed voter registration cards may be hand delivered or mailed to your town office or city hall. 

When you register for the first time in Maine, you’ll need to provide identity documents that show you have established your voting residence in the State of Maine.

The following documents are acceptable proof of identification for the purposes of registering to vote:

  • Government document or credential with photo ID (i.e. driver’s license, State ID, valid U.S. Passport, military ID, ID card issued by a federally recognized Indian tribe)
  • Government ID document/credential without photo (i.e. certified birth certificate or signed Social Security card)
  • An official document that shows name and address of voter (i.e. eligibility for public benefits, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck)
  • Student photo ID from a state-approved public or private school or institute of higher education in Maine
  • Verified unique identifier (Maine driver’s license number or last four numbers of Social Security Number)

For more information, visit the Maine Voting Residence Fact Sheet page.

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

  • General Election: November 8, 2022
  • 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.

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 November 8 general election are due to the Town Clerk by 8:00 PM on election day 

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

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

Voting absentee

  • Ballots are provided to town clerks 30 days prior to Election Day, and they begin mailing them out soon thereafter to those who requested to vote absentee.
  • When you receive your absentee ballot in the mail, you should first sign the return envelope in the “voter signature” line on the outer flap.
  • Depending on the election, you may receive multiple different ballots. Some ballots may have races and issues on both sides, so be sure to turn them over to complete voting.
  • To mark your choices on each ballot, fill in the oval next to your choice completely, using a ballpoint pen with black or blue ink. Do not make any other marks on your ballot.
  • When you have finished voting, refold your ballots and seal them in the return envelope. Doublecheck that you have signed the envelope and return your ballot to your town clerk. If you are returning the ballot by mail, you must affix the necessary first-class postage, and be sure to allow at least 7 days for delivery.
  • You can also deliver your ballot to your clerk in person or deposit it in the absentee ballot drop box at your town hall, if your municipality has that option.Keep in mind that all ballots must be received by the municipal clerk no later than 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

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:

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 2022)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2026)

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 8, 2022

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


Election Protection Hotlines


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

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682) (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683) (Asian multilingual assistance)

1-844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287) (Arabic)


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.

If you have questions or feedback to share about these guides, we encourage you to CONTACT US.

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.