How to Vote in Maine's 2022 Elections

Posted on 05/06/22 by Andrew Soergel

En español | Maine’s June 14 primaries will determine which candidates appear on November’s general election ballot for governor, the U.S. House of Representatives and the state legislature.

Across The U.S. Voters Flock To The Polls On Election Day

What's new this year?

A redistricting plan signed into law last year may affect which candidates run in your district in 2022.

Essential info:

  • Absentee voting: All registered voters can request a no-excuse absentee ballot and vote from home in June’s primaries and November’s general election.
  • Voting in person on Election Day: The state’s primary election is Tuesday, June 14; the general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Polls will open between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., depending on your town, and will close at 8 p.m.

How do I register to vote?

  • By mail: Complete an online registration application and then print it out, or download, print and complete an application by hand. You can also contact your town clerk and ask for an application in the mail. Send completed applications to your local clerk’s office or to the Maine Division of Elections office at 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333. Mailed applications must be received by May 24 to vote in the primaries and Oct. 18 to vote in the general election.
  • In person: Pick up a registration application or return a completed one to your town clerk’s office or city hall by 8 p.m. on Election Day. You can also pick up an application from any Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office or in most state and federal social services offices. But if you try to register through another government agency within 30 days of an election, you’ll be warned that your registration might not make it to the registrar in time and that you should instead register in person at your clerk’s office or city hall.

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote in the primaries?

Yes. Registered Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians and members of the Green Independent Party can only vote in their party's respective primaries. Political parties can choose whether to allow unenrolled voters to participate, and only the Green Independent Party has elected to do so this year. May 27 is the deadline to update your party affiliation before the June 14 primaries.

State lawmakers advanced a bill in 2021 that would open primaries to voters who aren’t affiliated with a particular party starting in 2024.

In the general election, anyone can vote for the candidate he or she chooses, regardless of party affiliation.

How can I get an absentee ballot? Are there important deadlines?

Any registered voter can request an absentee ballot and vote safely from home in the June primaries and in November’s general election.

Ballots can be requested starting three months before an election. You can request an absentee ballot online, by mail or in person.

  • Online: Use the state’s absentee ballot request portal to complete an application by June 9 to vote absentee in the primary and by Nov. 3 to vote absentee in the general election.
  • In person: You can pick up an application at your local municipal clerk’s office and complete it there or take it home. The request must be made by June 9 to vote absentee in the primary and by Nov. 3 to vote absentee in the general election.

An immediate family member can request and receive an application or ballot on your behalf by completing a written absentee ballot application. You can also designate a non-family member to pick up and deliver your ballot, provided you do so in writing and either a notary public, municipal clerk, clerk of courts, or two other people serve as witnesses.

If you submitted an absentee ballot request and haven’t received your ballot within three weeks of Election Day, contact your town clerk.

How do I return an absentee ballot?

Election officials must receive completed ballots by 8 p.m. on June 14 for the primary election and by Nov. 8 for the general election.

  • By mail: Send your completed ballot to your local municipal clerk’s office. State officials recommend mailing your primary ballot by June 7 for the primary and by Nov. 1 for the general election to avoid possible postal delays.

Use the state’s absentee ballot request portal to track the status of your absentee ballot.

Are there additional resources for voters with disabilities?

Yes. Voters living with a vision impairment or a disability that prevents them from filling out a paper ballot can request an accessible electronic absentee ballot through Maine’s absentee ballot request portal.

People with disabilities who choose to vote in person on Election Day can use special equipment to assist the hearing, visually or physically impaired that is available at all polling sites. The secretary of state’s website has more information about resources available to people with disabilities.

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Yes, you can vote early and in person by casting an absentee ballot at your local municipal clerk’s office. Absentee ballots for the primary will be available by May 16 and can be cast in person until June 9. For the general election, ballots will be available by Oct. 11 and can be cast early and in person until Nov. 3.

When is Election Day? When are polls open?

The primary election is Tuesday, June 14. Polls are open between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and close at 8 p.m., with exact hours determined by your town’s population. Contact your local elections office for exact times or use the state’s voter information portal to find your polling place. You’ll still be able to cast a ballot after 8 p.m., as long as you were in line before the polls closed.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 8. 

Do I need identification to vote?

Not if you’re a registered voter. But if you’re registering to vote on Election Day, you’ll be asked to show a current driver’s license, passport or other government-issued ID that confirms your name and address. You can also show a student ID card from a Maine public or private school or a utility bill that confirms your name and address, among other forms of acceptable identification.

If you don’t have an approved ID with you when you’re registering to vote on Election Day, you’ll be allowed to cast a challenged ballot, which will be counted as a regular ballot. If a race is close enough that challenged ballots affect the outcome, they’ll be sent to the state’s Supreme Judicial Court, which will decide whether they’re valid.

What races are on the ballot?

  • Governor
  • U.S. House: both seats
  • State House: all 151 seats
  • State Senate: all 35 seats

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on April 12 with more information about redistricting. The guide was first published on July 27, 2020.

Also of Interest

This story is provided by AARP Maine. Visit the AARP Maine page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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