AUGUSTA — A group of state lawmakers has introduced LD 231 “An Act To Establish Open Primaries” to pave the way for semi-open primaries in Maine elections.
The bill would allow, if passed, an unenrolled voter to vote in a primary election, including a presidential primary election, without having to enroll in a political party. An unenrolled voter may vote in only one party's primary election.
Republicans would not be able to vote in Democratic primaries and Democrats would not be able to vote in Republican primaries.
“Where I come from, we talk about values, not Party. We know that Mainers value their right to vote, and polling shows that 80% of Maine voters support semi-open primaries,” explained bill sponsor Sen. Chloe Maxmin (D-Lincoln County). “It’s time for those of us in the legislature to listen.”
In addition to Sen. Maxmin, legislative sponsors of LD 231 include Sen. Matt Pouliot (R-Augusta), Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos (I-Friendship), Rep. David McCrea (D-Fort Fairfield), Rep. Allison Hepler (D-Woolwich), Rep. Walter Riseman (I-Harrison), Rep. Nicole Grohoski (D-Ellsworth), Rep. Sophie Warren (I-Scarborough), and Rep. Bill Pluecker (I-Warren).
“Primary elections are tax-payer funded,” said co-sponsor Sen. Pouliot, who sits on the Taxation Committee. “That means that the 32% of Maine voters who are unenrolled are paying for elections in which they cannot participate. Fortunately, this outdated policy can be easily remedied with the passage of LD 231 and implementation of semi-open primaries.”