Posted by Russell Daniels on April 23, 2021 at 1:28 PM
Maine needs to open its primaries
I write today in support of LD 231, “An Act to Establish Open Primaries.”
Like so many Mainers, I consider myself an independent thinker. That is why I have chosen to remain a registered independent all these years. I have voted for independents, Democrats, and Republicans throughout the years. I believe that being an unenrolled voter has allowed me to more freely examine a candidate’s views and decide from there, free of labels, who I believe makes the best possible choice.
Perhaps this is the exact reason why almost a third of Maine voters are unenrolled.
While being unenrolled has given me certain freedoms, it has also handcuffed me in other ways. During primary season I continually find myself needing to make difficult choices. Am I going to put a large amount of energy into campaigning for the candidate whom I want to see move forward, or wait and see who their party places on the ballot?
While I can use my voice leading up to primary day I am silenced at the polls simply because I have not chosen to be either Republican or Democrat.
Thirty-two percent of Mainers are currently silenced at the polls during primaries. That number is likely to increase as we move toward automatic voter registration. Eighty percent of Mainers support open primaries.
The numbers make it clear that it is time Maine moves forward when it comes to elections, and opens its primaries to more than those voters who are registered with a party.