Former Senator Olympia Snowe endorses Semi Open Primaries Bill in Maine - Open Primaries
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Former Senator Olympia Snowe endorses Semi Open Primaries Bill in Maine

Posted on June 01, 2021 at 1:34 PM


June 1, 2021



Kaitlin LaCasse

Open Primaries Maine

kaitlin.[email protected] 




Supports Passage of L.D. 231


Augusta, ME – Open Primaries Maine is pleased that, today, former U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe endorsed semi-open primaries – joining with other prominent Mainers including Congressman Jared Golden, Assistant Senate Minority Leader and bill co-sponsor Matt Pouliot, former Senate President Kevin Raye, and former Republican candidate for Governor Peter Mills, in encouraging passage of L.D. 231 “An Act to Establish Semi-Open Primaries.”

“Power resides with the people through the ballot box,” said Sen. Snowe. “In order to help ensure that candidates better reflect the ideological pragmatism of most Americans, Maine should enact semi-open primaries.” 

Under current Maine law, the 32% of Maine voters who are unenrolled -- often referred to as independent -- are prohibited from participating in taxpayer funded primary elections. L.D. 231 would allow semi-open primaries, meaning unenrolled voters would be permitted to cast one ballot in the primary of their choice. Republicans would not be able to vote in Democratic primaries and Democrats would not be able to vote in Republican primaries.

“It seems reasonable that if an independent or unenrolled voter happens to strongly support a candidate in a particular party, they should be able to vote for that candidate to be the nominee in the general election,” continued Snowe.  

 After serving terms in both the Maine House and Maine Senate, Snowe was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978 and served eight terms before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994, where she served until 2013. Throughout her career, Snowe led with an approach that valued a thorough studying of the issues, listening to and respecting other points of view, and building consensus and finding solutions. She earned a national reputation and respect across the country for forging policy solutions based on what was best for the common good, not political partisanship.

 Maine is one of just 14 states with completely closed primaries, and 80% of Maine voters support semi-open primaries.  

Open Primaries Maine is on a mission to improve voter access and increase voter participation by advocating for opening Maine’s primary elections to unenrolled voters. Our 2021 goal is the passage of L.D. 231, “An Act to Establish Semi - Open Primaries” in the 130th Maine Legislature.


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published this page in Press Releases 2021-06-01 13:34:08 -0400