2018 Maine Voter Information Guide
Want to vote in the Nov. 6 election? Here’s everything you need to know to cast your ballot and be assured that it counts.
How do I register to vote in Maine?
Are you at least 17 years old and will be 18 or older on or by Election Day?
Are you a United States citizen?
Have you established residency in Maine?
If you answered “yes” to all three, you’re qualified. Just visit your local town office, Bureau of Motor Vehicles, social service agency, or anywhere voter registration is happening.
What do I have to show to prove I’m a U.S. citizen?
You have one of three options: your driver’s license number, a state-issued ID number, or a valid Social Security number.
I’m a U.S. citizen. Now, what?
If you’ve lived and voted in Maine before and have simply changed addresses, contact your local Town Clerk to update your registration. They will want to see one of the above forms of ID plus something that shows your new address.
If your ID already has your current address, that’s it. If not, you will need to bring in a checkbook or utility bill with your current address plus a secondary form of ID, such as a Social Security card, birth certificate, or hunting/fishing license.
They will also want to know the city, county, and state in which you were previously registered. If you moved from, say, Bangor to Portland, you will tell them that you were previously registered in Bangor, Penobscot County, Maine. Also, if you’ve registered under a different legal name, you will need to tell them. Then you should be all set.
But what if I’m from away?
If you’re a resident of Maine who has never registered to vote or are a new resident from away, the process is the same.
The only difference is that you have a few more options for proving your identity: a current utility bill, state-issued driver’s license or ID, a bank statement, paycheck stub, or any government document with your name or address.
You will also need to provide your previous city, county, and state of previous registration, i.e., Concord, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, as well as any changes of your legal name.
All of this can be done in person down at your local town office.
Can I register by mail?
If you are unable to make it to your town office in person or just prefer the convenience of doing so from home, simply fill out a voter registration form (available via download from state website or mailed to you), make photocopies of the required ID documents, and mail them in together.
The deadline for registering by mail is 21 days before the election—Tuesday, October 16—so be sure to have it postmarked a few days in advance.
What if I forget to register before Election Day? Am I out of luck?
Nope! Maine is a same-day registration state, so, provided you bring the above information with you to your local polling place and everything looks good, you’ll be able to vote.
If you don’t know where your local polling place is, call your town office and give them your address (many towns provide a look-up service online.) Whichever way you register to vote in Maine, it’s good for life unless you change your name or address.
But what if I don’t live in Maine year-round? How do I know if I’m a Maine resident?
Generally, the place where you receive your mail, have registered your vehicle, have listed on a hunting, fishing, or driver’s license is where you have established residency.
If unsure, consider where you return to after a trip or vacation and ordinarily spend most of your time. Ownership of property in Maine, such as a vacation home or hunting cabin, does not entitle you to vote in Maine unless you reside there.
For college or boarding school students who live in Maine during the academic year, you may register to vote in Maine regardless of whether you live in a dorm, apartment, house, or hotel, provided you have established residency in Maine.
If you previously registered to vote in your hometown and it is still your residence according to the above standards, you may request an absentee ballot from your hometown.
If you’re active-duty military and ordinarily reside in Maine, you may request an absentee ballot be mailed to where you are stationed.
Are you a resident of Maine planning to be out of the country on Election Day? You may vote absentee as well.
And, if you are incarcerated, Maine is one of two states where you are still permitted to register and vote absentee provided you were a Maine resident prior to your incarceration.
What about political parties?
Maine recognizes four major parties in which you can enroll: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green Independent.
If none of these suit you, you may remain unenrolled. However, if you want to vote in a party’s primary election, you must be enrolled.
For more information, please CLICK HERE.
Tune in to CBS 13 on November 6 for all of your Election Day coverage.