- The Maine Wire - https://www.themainewire.com -

What you need to know to participate in next week’s election

This upcoming Tuesday will be Maine’s first primary election for president since 2000, and the first ever to occur on Super Tuesday, the day where Maine and 13 other states hold their presidential primary nominating contests. 

Any Maine voter may participate in the election on March 3rd, but there might be restrictions based on your current party affiliation. Here’s what you need to know in order to participate in Maine’s next election.

Even though, conventionally, March 3rd is a day for presidential primaries, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap designated it a statewide election. He assigned a single statewide ballot question for this election, the People’s Veto of LD 798, a law passed in the first session that removed non-medical exemptions to the vaccine schedule for students attending school in Maine, as well as for employees of nursery schools and healthcare facilities. 

The question will appear on Maine ballots as follows:

“Do you want to reject the new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring immunization against certain communicable diseases for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of nursery schools and health care facilities?”

A“Yes” vote on Question 1 would restore the non-medical philosophical and religious exemptions that parents may claim in order to avoid giving their child the full vaccine schedule. This would retain the law as it has been in Maine before lawmakers made changes to it in 2019.

A “No” vote would uphold the law passed in the first session of the 129th Legislature that eliminates non-medical exemptions to vaccinations in order to attend school, including private school, virtual learning programs, and colleges and universities. Any parents or students who object to any part of the vaccine schedule, and cannot obtain an exemption from a doctor, would retain the option to homeschool, though the law would not prevent these children from visiting the playground, grocery store, movie theater, or any other public space. 

As previously mentioned, any Maine voter can participate in the ballot question. In terms of the presidential primary, the rules are a little more restrictive. Voters registered either Republican or Democrat can vote in their party’s primary. Unenrolled voters may choose to enroll in a party and vote in that party’s primary on the day of the election. They may not revert their party registration back to “Unenrolled” until 90 days have passed.

Maine has same-day voter registration, which means that new voters can walk into the polling place on Election Day, register with a party, and vote in that party’s presidential primary.

Although there might not seem like much of a reason for folks to vote in the Republican primary, since President Trump faces no substantial opposition within his party, the ballot question is an important issue on which Maine voters should express their views.

So get out there, and make your voice heard next Tuesday, March 3rd.