People vote behind tabletop voting stations at the Fort Fairfield Town Office. Credit: David Marino Jr

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Tuesday’s primary election offers some notable choices, even for Maine voters who aren’t registered as Republicans or Democrats. So regardless of your party status, remember to vote in the June 14 election.

The state’s new semi-open primary law has not yet gone into effect to allow unenrolled Mainers to vote in a partisan primary without joining a party. However, existing law already allows unenrolled voters to join a party and vote in that primary on election day, though they have to remain in that party for at least three months before changing their enrollment. The new law, once it is implemented, will allow them to vote in a primary while remaining unenrolled.

Regardless of Maine’s impending switch to semi-open primaries in 2024, the June 14 election this year features some important choices for partisans and unenrolled voters alike. The big ticket races are partisan, sure. In Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Republicans will choose between former Congressman Bruce Poliquin and Caratunk select board member Liz Caruso in the race to face Democratic Rep. Jared Golden in November’s general election. And among State House races, the Democratic primary election for the newly redistricted Senate District 8 between Abe Furth and Mike Tipping — covering roughly two dozen Penobscot County towns — has received a lot of attention (and generated plenty of letters to the Bangor Daily News).

BDN political reporter Jessica Piper cas compiled a helpful list of next week’s competitive primaries across the state, along with everything else you need to know about the June 14 election.

There’s also a special election for the Hancock County area Senate District 7 seat that all district voters can participate in to replace Sen. Louis Luchini after he took a job with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Democratic Rep. Nicole Grohoski, former Republican Sen. Brian Langley and Green candidate Ben Meikeljohn are vying to fill the remaining months of that term. Grohoski and Langley are also both on the primary ballot ahead of November’s general election. To complicate things, because of the recent redistricting, the towns included in District 7 for the special election are slightly different from those included for the primary election and upcoming general election.

Piper has done a good job explaining this layered situation in District 7, and if anyone has any questions about which elections they are able to vote in, we recommend checking with their local town or city clerk’s office.

Both Gov. Janet Mills and former Gov. Paul LePage are running unopposed in the Democratic and Republican gubernatorial primaries, respectively. So too are Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree and Republican challenger Ed Thelander in their 1st District primaries.

On top of the federal and state office primaries, depending on where people live, there is also a long list of nonpartisan local elections that folks can and should vote in regardless of their party affiliation. In Bangor, for example, there is a five-person special election to fill the seat of late City Councilor Sarah Dubay, who died last November after a battle with lung cancer. The winner among candidates Stephen Brough, Tyler Rowe, Michael Maberry, Joseph Leonard and Daniel R. Smith will serve the remainder of Dubay’s term through November 2023. BDN reporter Lia Russell profiled those candidates in April.

This is just one example of the many local council, school board and other elections happening on June 14, including some local referendum questions. So even if you’re not a registered Republican or Democrat, or if you don’t want to become one in order to vote in a primary on Tuesday, there still may be decisions for you to make at the ballot box.

At this point, it is too late to request an absentee ballot from the state. Any absentee ballot already requested must be returned to your town hall or designated drop box by 8 p.m. on election night. And of course, you can vote in person on election day, usually between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Be sure to double check your town’s voting hours, and pay attention to what is on the ballot. Again, even though it is a primary election, there are plenty of local, nonpartisan decisions for Maine voters to make on Tuesday.

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The BDN Editorial Board

The Bangor Daily News editorial board members are Publisher Richard J. Warren, Editorial Page Editor Susan Young, Assistant Editorial Page Editor Matt Junker and BDN President Todd Benoit. Young has worked...