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  • Secretary Dunlap reminds voters to plan ahead if seeking to change political party affiliation

    Maine voters who are enrolled in a political party and would like to change their party affiliation in time to cast a ballot in the June 12 Primary Election must do so by Friday, May 25 in most municipalities.

    Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap reminds voters that State law requires a 15-day waiting period after a change of enrollment before a citizen can cast a ballot in that party’s primary or participate in its caucus or convention.Thus, due to the Memorial Day holiday, the deadline to change enrollment is Friday, May 25 for most voters. As the waiting period can be no less than 15 days, any change of enrollment must occur no later than the last day a voter’s municipal office is open before the deadline.

    The State of Maine recognizes four qualified political parties: Democratic, Republican, Libertarian and Green Independent. All other registered voters are officially considered “unenrolled,” whether they consider themselves independent voters or members of other political parties that are not qualified in Maine.

    Unenrolled voters can enroll in a party at any time, including Election Day, since the State of Maine offers Election Day voter registration. Registered voters who are enrolled in one of the four qualified parties, however, must meet certain deadlines to change their party affiliation prior to primary elections in which a party is choosing its candidates.

    Voters must remain in a party for three months before they are eligible to file an application for withdrawal or a change in enrollment. Additionally, those who withdraw from a party are ineligible to enroll in a different party for 15 days.

    Voter registration is not available online. You can register to vote at your town office or city hall, through any Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch office, in most state and federal social service agencies, or at voter registration drives. Completed voter registration cards may be hand delivered or mailed to your town office or city hall.  The deadline for mailed or 3rd party voter registration applications to be received by the municipal office is Tuesday, May 22nd. Visit http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/voterguide.html for more information about registering to vote in Maine.