AUGUSTA – Unenrolled voters in Maine could make a difference in the next primary election. That’s if a bill making its way through the legislation becomes law.
There are more unenrolled or so-called independent voters than members of any of the state’s political parties.
Maine law allows people to enroll in a party on the day of the primary or caucus, but they have to remain a member of that party for 90 days.
Representative Owen Casas, I-Rockport, said “And then go back to your municipality to unenroll back to where you feel more comfortable seems like an unreasonable burden to me, for participating in the voting process.”
Some want to open primary elections to unenrolled voters, some legislators believe the party system is working just fine.
Senator Ron Collins, R-Wells, said “I don’t think really this bill has any merit. Coming from the standpoint of, if you are considered an independent or non-declared party affiliation you certainly can vote in a primary simply by registering as any party you want.”
Some want to open primary elections to unenrolled voters. And others believe this bill might encourage more participation in the election process.
If this makes it through the legislative process, and receives the governor’s signature, Maine would be one of a handful of states with a semi-open primary election process.