Absentee ballots are now available ahead of a June 14 election in which Mainers can vote in primary elections for a range of state and local offices as well as local ballot questions.
Although both Gov. Janet Mills and former Gov. Paul LePage are both running unopposed in their respective primaries ahead of their closely watched race, there are still contested primaries across the state, along with a special Maine Senate election in Hancock County and other local elections in some towns.
Here is what you need to know.
How do I vote absentee?
You can request an absentee ballot online through the secretary of state’s office online ballot request service to have it delivered to you via mail. You can also call or visit your town office to request a ballot. Some towns offer in-person absentee voting as well in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Check with your town about hours.
If you receive an absentee ballot in the mail, it must be returned to your town office by 8 p.m. on Election Day, June 14. You can drop off your absentee ballot at the town office or an absentee ballot drop box. If returning it by mail, make sure to place it in the mail a few days in advance in order to ensure it arrives on time.
Is there a competitive primary election where I live?
Notable primaries include the Republican battle to challenge U.S. Rep. Jared Golden in the competitive 2nd Congressional District. Former Rep. Bruce Poliquin faces Caratunk Selectman Liz Caruso. Golden is running unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Democratic voters in Cumberland County can vote in the primary for district attorney, where incumbent Jonathan Sahrbeck faces a challenge from Jackie Sartoris. In Hancock County, Republican voters can vote in a primary between District Attorney Matthew Foster and challenger Steven Juskewitch.
Both Republicans and Democrats have the chance to vote in the primary for the new Maine Senate District 8, which covers Orono, Old Town and nearly two dozen other towns in Penobscot County. On the Democratic side, restaurateur Abe Furth of Old Town faces progressive activist Mike Tipping of Orono. For Republicans, Eric Rojo is facing Grace Tibbetts. Both are from Lincoln.
All voters registered with a major party can still request an absentee ballot to vote, at a minimum, in the gubernatorial primary, even though both Mills and LePage are running unopposed.
What about unenrolled voters?
Although the Maine Legislature passed a law this session that will allow unenrolled voters to vote in party primaries, it does not go into effect until 2024. Unenrolled voters can still vote in the primary by changing their party registration on or before Election Day. They also have the chance to vote in municipal elections in many towns.
In Hancock County, all voters in Maine Senate District 7 can vote in a special election to fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Louis Luchini, a Democrat from Ellsworth who resigned in January. Former Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth, faces Rep. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth.
In the Kennebec County town of Readfield, voters will vote on a $5 million bond referendum for the town to purchase its own broadband through Axiom and a smaller $500,000 bond to build a sports complex.