A car drives by an election day voting sign on outer Congress Street in Portland on June 14, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

The BDN Editorial Board operates independently from the newsroom, and does not set policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

There are myriad reasons to vote in this November’s election. Here’s a good one: If you want to complain about the job politicians are doing for the next few years, then you need to cast a ballot in the Nov. 8 election.

Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. It requires participation from voters, and Maine voters have several options, as outlined in the Bangor Daily News 2022 Maine Voter’s Guide, that make participating in elections both easy and secure.

People 18 and older with a fixed and principal home in Maine can vote in person at their local polling place on Election Day. This year, that is Tuesday, Nov. 8. The Maine Secretary of State’s Office has a tool for finding your polling location, which often are city or town halls, schools or other municipal buildings.

In-person early voting is also an option, and already underway in many places across the state. In-person early voting ends Nov. 3. You can also request a no-excuse absentee ballot from the state or through your municipal office. If you plan to vote absentee and haven’t yet requested your ballot, you should do so without delay. After Oct. 10, the state recommends allowing seven to 10 days to receive your ballot, which must be returned to your local clerk by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8.

And remember, even if you’re not registered to vote yet, Maine allows you to register up to and on Election Day. You’ll need to provide proof of residency, so bring identification — a photo ID works but so does a utility bill or a piece of mail that proves you live where you say you live — when you go to the polls.

In addition to that information on how to vote, there are also plenty of reasons for you to vote. Any election is an opportunity, if not responsibility, for people to get civically engaged. But this election features several prominent choices that have statewide and even national implications.

Maine voters will choose between their current governor, their former governor or a political newcomer in a matchup between Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, Republican former Gov. Paul LePage and independent Sam Hunkler to decide who serves in the Blaine House for the next four years. Voters in both of Maine’s congressional districts will select their representatives for the next two years. Second District voters have a 2018 rematch on their ballot, with Republican former Rep. Bruce Poliquin and independent Tiffany Bond running against Democratic incumbent Rep. Jared Golden in a ranked-choice election. In the 1st District, Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree is looking for an eighth term and being challenged by Republican Ed Thelander.

Voters across the state will also choose their representatives in the Maine House and Senate for the next two years, which collectively will also decide which party controls each of these bodies in the Maine Legislature. Who Maine sends to Congress could have a similar impact in determining the balance of power in Washington for the next two years.

Depending where you live, there may be a long list of local offices and referenda on the ballot as well. Here in Bangor, for example, five candidates are vying for three seats on the City Council. Portland voters have a dizzying total of 13 charter amendment and citizen initiative questions on their ballot.

Hopefully all eligible voters in Maine can find a reason to head to the polls or request an absentee ballot. Approximately 78 percent of Maine’s eligible voters cast their ballots in the 2020 election, putting us near the top of the voter participation leaderboard nationally. This is worth celebrating, but rather than just trying to replicate it, the goal should always be to get closer to 100 percent participation in a representative democracy.

We’ve offered some insights about what to do in order to vote. We’d also like to offer some advice on what not to do this election season: Don’t harass or threaten election workers. The alarming and increasing way that these officials and volunteers, who are vital cogs in the wheel of democracy, have been targeted is simply unacceptable. These are our neighbors. They are local employees and volunteers who make Maine elections possible. They deserve our praise, not our derision.

So go vote — today, tomorrow or on Nov. 8.

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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...