As a Green Independent Party House of Representatives candidate, I urged Governor Janet Mills to sign the open primary bill passed by this year’s legislature. LD 231 became law without her signature in April. Voters who are not enrolled in a party will be able to vote in primary elections starting in 2024.
However voters in my district don’t have to wait until 2024 to cast a primary vote because the Maine Green Independent Party has allowed unenrolled voters to participate in its primaries for four years now. Current state law allows political parties to open their primaries if they wish and Maine’s Green Independent Party has regularly allowed that option in our continuing efforts to expand the electoral process to as many participants as possible.
I am running in House District 38, which covers the towns of Brooks, Thorndike, Unity, Knox, Jackson, Waldo, Monroe, Swanville, and part of Frankfort. I want unenrolled voters in my district to know they have been, and will continue to be, welcome in our party primaries, and to know that in future races there may be multiple candidates and unenrolled voters could play an important role in who goes on to the November ballot.
Thank you and I look forward to speaking with each of you as I campaign around the district this summer.
Heather “Betsy” Garrold lives in Knox and is President of the Board of Directors for Food for Maine's Future