Maine - Open Primaries
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Primary Elections State By State



  • Democratic congressional and state primaries: mixed
  • Republican congressional and state primaries: mixed
  • Democratic Presidential primary: closed
  • Republican Presidential primary: closed


Primary Type Definitions



  • Voters may or may not choose to affiliate with a political party, however, affiliation with a party is required to vote in primary elections.
  • 35% of Maine voters are not enrolled in a political party.


Details of voting in congressional and state primary elections:

  • Voters must affiliate with a party in order to vote in that party's primary.
  • "Unenrolled" voters may register with a party on primary day to vote in that party's primary. 
  • Any affiliated voter who wishes to change party enrollment must do so at least 15 days before the primary election.
  • A voter may change party enrollment again after 3 months from the date on which the voter last changed parties. 

Campaign/State Partners:

Nearly 40% of Maine voters are independent and cannot participate in taxpayer-funded primaries. Most of Maine’s legislative races are not competitive in the general election because the districts heavily favor either the Republican or the Democratic nominees. That means that 70% of general election “winners” were effectively chosen in the state’s June primary election without the participation of independent voters.  Which is why 73% of Maine voters support open primaries.

Open Primaries Maine, a grassroots, non-partisan coalition is standing with the people of Maine who are demanding the right to vote for every registered voter and is organizing Mainers in support.

They are supporting legislation to open the primaries to all voters, LD 211, which was introduced by Rep. Kent Ackley.

Earlier this year, the Maine House of Representatives held a public hearing to hear testimony from voters on LD 211. Over 40 local activists packed the hearing.

The legislation fell just two votes short of passage in the Maine Senate in the current session. This was the first semi-open primaries bill to receive a floor vote in the Maine Senate and it received bipartisan support, with 4 Republicans and 12 Democrats voting in support, including Senate President Troy Jackson. Activists across the state condemned the legislature’s inaction.  Former Independent Maine State Senator, Jill Goldthwait, penned a letter to the editor sharing her frustration.

Open Primaries Maine is evaluating how best to move forward.


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published this page in What's happening in your state? 2015-06-10 13:24:44 -0400