Student Voter Guide for Maine’s 2020 Presidential Primary Election

This guide will help you participate in Maine’s March 3 presidential primary, in which you can help choose America’s presidential nominees and nominees for other positions. In the Maine presidential primary, you can only vote for candidates of the party with which you’re registered. If you’re unaffiliated, you can register with a specific party on Election Day to vote in that primary.

Dates & Deadlines

  • Primary election date: Tuesday, March 3, 2020, opening between 6 AM and 10 AM (depending on the population of your town) and closing at 8 PM
  • Deadline for registering by mail: February 11
  • Deadline for requesting an absentee ballot: February 27
  • All absentee ballots must be received by your municipal clerk by 8 PM, March 3.

Why this primary matters

You have a chance to determine the presidential nominees for the two major political parties. As part of Super Tuesday, the Maine primary plays an important role. Democratic Party delegates are allocated proportionately with a 15% minimum, while Republican Party delegates are allotted with a 10% threshold, and 50% Winner Take All.

Candidate information

For Republican and Democratic presidential candidate websites, CNN has a complete list. Politico also has a quick guide to Democratic candidate positions.

Eligibility

You can register to vote in Maine if you are:

  • A United States citizen
  • At least 17 years old, and will be 18 years old by Election Day.
  • Live in the Maine city or town where you want to vote. (If you are a student, you have the right to register in the municipality in Maine where you attend school, as long as you have established residence there.)

How to register to vote

You can register to vote at your town office or city hall, through any Motor Vehicle branch office, in most state & federal social service agencies, or at voter registration drives. You should fill out a voter registration card and hand deliver it or mail it to your town office or city hall, or to the Secretary of State’s Office in Augusta. If you’re a new voter registering by mail, you must show a valid photo ID, utility bill, or government document that shows your current name and address. To register by mail, the deadline is Tuesday, February 11. You can register in person on Election Day at your voting place; you must show ID and proof of where you live. The Maine Voting Residence Fact Sheet lists proofs of residency.

ID Requirements for registering

To register, you will need:

  • A Maine driver’s license or a Maine State ID
  • Or the last four digits of your Social Security number

ID Requirements for voting

In Maine, you do not need to show ID to get a ballot, unless you need to register.

Absentee voting

Any registered Maine voter may cast an absentee ballot instead of voting in person on Election Day; no specific reason for doing so is required. You can request an absentee ballot application beginning three months before March 3 and until February 27, three business days before the primary, either by contacting your municipal clerk or by using the Secretary of State’s Online Absentee Ballot Request Service. When you have the ballot, fill it out and return it to the municipal clerk.

Address to use for registering and voting

Per federal election law, college students can register and vote at either their campus address or their permanent home address, which may be out of state. However, voters can only be registered at one address. If you are not going to physically be in the state where you plan to vote, you will need to request an absentee ballot.

It’s your choice where to register. Registering at your campus address will not:

  • Affect your federal financial aid
  • Prevent your parents from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes
  • Cost you any scholarships, unless they’re tied to specific residency requirements
  • Affect your tuition status as an in-state or out-of-state student.

Key Resources