Who is eligible to vote in Maine?
Who is eligible to vote-by-mail / absentee in Maine?
Everyone! There are no limitations on voting early, vote-by-mail, or voting absentee in Maine. Although there are restrictions in some other states, look up your state’s voting info at www.vote.org
Does Maine have online voter registration?
Unfortunately, Maine does not have online registration, but you can register by in-person/or by mail. If you are mailing in your voter registration form or registering at a voter registration drive, your Town Clerk must receive your registration form by 5:00 PM, October 19th. You are able to register to vote in person at your Town Clerk’s Office during their business hours up until Election Day and on Election Day you can register to vote at your polling place.
I’m a student in Maine, can I register to vote here?
If you are a student, you have the right to register in the municipality in Maine where you attend school, if you want, but you must establish residency there.
Can I register if I live in a dorm?
Yes! You can register if you live in a dorm. You MUST remember to use your dorm’s address as your residence, NOT your mailbox number. As for establishing a proof of residency, colleges and universities have a legal responsibility to make voter registration easy and accessible - which includes aiding in providing you proof of residency when living in a dorm.
What do I need to register to vote?
You must be able to present proof of residency in Maine, and have a legal form of identification. For an ID you can use: a government issued ID, a license, a passport, a state ID, your birth certificate, your social security card, or other official documents (such as a bank statement, utility bill, or a government benefit check). That form of identification will usually have your address on it - which counts towards proof of residency.
If your ID does not have your address, you can provide another document as a proof of address. Such as a utility bill, car registration, lease agreement, or something else.
Do I need a photo ID for any of this? Registering or voting?
No. You DO NOT need a photo ID to register or to vote!
What happens when you declare your voting residence by registering to vote in Maine?
By registering to vote in a municipality in Maine, you are declaring residency in that community, at that address. Keep this in mind because you may also need to update your residence information with other government agencies, such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (for driver’s license and vehicle registration) even though doing so is not a prerequisite to registering to vote or obtaining a ballot. Residency is defined differently for different legal purposes.
Does registering to vote in Maine affect my federal financial aid?
Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.
Does registering to vote in Maine affect my status as a dependent on my parents’ taxes or on their health insurance?
Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.
Does registering to vote in Maine affect my tuition status?
Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.
If I am from a different state but go to college in Maine, can I vote in Maine elections? Or, what about if I go to college and currently reside in Maine, but want to vote in my home state elections?
If you reside in Maine, even on a college campus, you are eligible to vote and use that address as your place of residence. Even if you are from out of state.
If you are currently in Maine, but would like to participate in your home state elections, you can still do that if you have a place to return to in your home state. For instance, if your parents still live in your home state, and can prove that address as your residence, you can vote in those elections. If you are home, you can vote in person. If you are not, you can request an absentee ballot for that state, under your “home” address in that particular state.
If I go to college in Maine, but am from out of state, should I vote in Maine elections?
This is totally up to you, and how you feel about certain questions on the ballot and your role in each community. Check out states that have competitive elections and where the youth vote can have a significant impact on the races.
What is Ranked Choice Voting, and how do I use it?
Ranked Choice Voting, RCV, is a polling system that allows voters to honestly rank their candidates of choice by preference, without the possibility of their vote taking away votes from second and third choice candidates. Maine is the only state that uses RVC for federal elections, such as the president, as well as local ones. To use RCV, simply fill in the indicated bubbles for your first, second, third, and fourth choice candidates. When counting ballots, everyone’s first choice will be counted - if their first choice has the least number of votes, that person’s second choice will then be counted. And so on, until a candidate has over 50% of votes.
Am I allowed to have help when I am voting?
Yes! In many forms. Most specifically, you are allowed to bring a voting guide into the polls. Additionally, you are able to have a friend or family member assist you with voting - for assistance in reading the ballot and filling out the bubbles. An election official may also assist.
What time does my polling place open? What if I go to the wrong place?
To find out when your local polling place opens, please call your Town Clerk. It varies greatly across Maine. But all polling places close at 8:00 PM. If you are in line to vote by 8:00 PM, you must be allowed to vote. Do not leave until you vote! It is your constitutional right.
If you accidentally go to the wrong place, that’s okay, it happens! But a good way to avoid this is by making a voting plan early, and sticking to it. But, if this does happen, just ask a poll worker, and they will help you look up your correct polling location. If you will miss 8:00 PM by the time you arrive at your correct polling place, you may fill out a “challenged” ballot. In Maine, challenged ballots are automatically counted, unless the election is so close, that you will be asked to verify your vote.
If you still have questions, that is okay! Here are some resources to help you.
Questions about what’s on the ballot, the election process, or how to vote?
Contact the League of Women Voters of Maine’s voter hotline: 207-558-3333 (call or text)
If you feel like your voting rights have been violated or you are experiencing voter intimidation.
Contact the Maine ACLU: 207-774-5444