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League of Women Voters

Maine Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Election Day
By Mail:
Received by Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
Secretary of State
101 State House Station
111 Sewall St. 4th floor
Augusta, ME 4333
Phone:
207-624-7736
Fax:
207-287-5874

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in Maine you must be:

  • A U.S. citizen
  • A resident in the municipality where you intend to register to vote
  • At least 18 years old to vote (17 year olds may vote in primary elections as long as they will be 18 by the time of the general election).

If you are a student, you have the right to register in the municipality where you attend school, if you have established residency there. You must meet the same residency requirements as all other potential voters, but may not be asked to meet any additional requirements. If you are a student who is not a resident of the municipality in which you attend school, you cannot register in that municipality. You must determine where you have established residency and register to vote there. If residency is determined to be in another municipality or state, absentee voting is possible and encouraged.

If you are incarcerated in a correctional facility or in a county jail, the municipality where you are incarcerated is not neccessarily your voting municipality, unless you resided in that municipality prior to incarceration. If you are incarcerated in a correctional facility you may apply to register to vote in any municipality where you have previously established a fixed and principal home to which you intend to return.

You may have a non traditional residence, including, but not limited to a shelter, park or underpass. Your residency is not subject to challenge on the sole basis that it is non traditional.

ID Needed for Voter Registration

When filling out your voter registration card, you must provide either your Maine driver's license number or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you are a new voter in Maine, you must send a copy of either your Maine driver's license or a utility bill or a government document that states your name and address with your voter registration form. If you are registering less than 21 days before an election, you must register in person 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 will need to provide proof of identity and residency.

ID Needed for Voting?

If you are already registered to vote, you do not need to provide identification to receive a ballot. If you are registering on Election Day, you will need to provide proof of identity and residency.

Registration Deadline

To register by mail or through a voter registration drive, you must do so 21 days before Election Day. However, you are able to register in person up until and on Election Day. When registering in person 21 days before an election, or on Election Day, you must show proof of identity and residency.

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

 

 

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration status, please contact your municipal elections office.

Absentee Ballot Process

Any registered voter may cast an absentee ballot instead of voting in person at the polling place on Election Day. You do not need to have a specific reason or be unable to vote at the polls on Election Day to receive an absentee ballot.

You can request an absentee ballot online here beginning 3 months before Election Day. If you don't want to request a ballot online, you can contact your municipal clerk either in person on through the phone. A ballot will then be mailed to your address.

Absentee ballots may be requested beginning 3 months before Election Day. Make your request early to allow enough time for the ballot to be mailed to you. The deadline to request an absentee ballot is 3 days before the election.

To be counted, voted absentee ballots must be received by the municipal clerk by 8pm on Election Day.

Overseas citizens and U.S. military personnel can find information on how to register to vote and request an absentee ballot at the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

You may vote absentee at the clerk's office as soon as absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available 30 days before the election at the municipal clerk's office. You do not need to complete an application if you vote in person at the municipal clerk's office.

Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election). The registration deadline eis Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

Contact your local Board of Elections for more information.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in Maine:

  • You must be registered to vote in Maine
  • You must be at least 18 years of age; except students 17 or older may work at the polls as student election clerks for specific elections
  • You must attend training at least once every two years
  • You might be entitled to compensation, depeding on the jurisdiction

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

 

Polling Place Hours

All polls open between 6am and 10pm depending on the population of the town. Local officials can give you the exact opening time for your community. All voting places close at 8pm on election day.

Time Off To Vote

Time off to vote is subject to the employer. Maine state law does not require employers to grant time off to vote for employees.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

If your eligibility to vote is questioned on Election Day, you are allowed to cast a challenged ballot. A challenged ballot must be counted the same as a regular ballot. The validity of a challenged ballot need not be determined unless it affects the results of an election.

Voting Machines

The voting systems used in Maine are optical scan and paper ballots.

Optical Scan: With this system, you will receive a card or sheet of paper, which you take over to a private table or booth. The card has the names of the various candidates and ballot measures printed on it. With a pen or pencil you fill in a little box or circle or the space between two arrows. When you are finished filling out all the cards, you may bring the cards over to a ballot box, where poll workers will show you how to put the cards in the box. Or in some places, you may feed the completed cards or papers into a computer device that checks your card or paper right there at the polling place to make sure you have voted the way you want to and counts the votes.

Paper Ballots: Paper ballots are one of the oldest ways of voting in America. They are still used in a few places on Election Day. When you come to the polling place, you will get a paper ballot from the poll worker. You take it to the voting booth, and use a pen or pencil to mark a box next to your candidate and issue choices. You then drop the marked ballot into a sealed ballot box.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Beginning in 2018 Maine has a ranked choice voting, which allows voters to rank the candidates on their ballot in order of their preference (1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice, etc.).

When ballots are counted, if one candidate gets more than 50% of 1st choice votes, he or she wins. If no candidate receives more than 50% of 1st chocie votes, the lowest ranking candidate is defeated. For voters who ranked the defeated canddiate as their 1st choice, their votes count for their second choice. Repeate this process until there are only two candidates left. The person with the most votes in the final round is the winner.

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

 

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

If you are visually impaired, physically disabled, or are unable to read or write, you can be assisted.

For more information, you can utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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Election Day Problems?

Call one of these hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)

 

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