Elizabeth Gross votes on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Portland, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

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Maine needs semi-open primaries.  LD 231 has passed and now needs a modest appropriation.

As a former paid staff of the Maine Democratic Party (1988), I was slower than many coming around to enthusiastic support for this bill. Once on board, I can think of few other opportunities that would bring light, life and new voters into the candidate selection process.

Currently, primaries are a function of the major parties to pick the party’s candidate in a particular race. The parties don’t pay for this election — you do. Whether you are enrolled in a party or not, your tax dollars support this party function, but if you are unenrolled, you can’t vote.

I got involved in partisan politics in the 1970s to get fresh air and sunlight into the smoke-filled room decision-making dominated by males.

And here we are with one more, but surely not the last, opportunity to keep the doors and windows to those back rooms open.

In addition, semi-open primaries fit so well with my Unitarian Universalist principles of justice and equity. By allowing unenrolled voters to fully participate in our election process in Maine we affirm their right to participate fully in our democratic republic.

Sue Ellen Bordwell