What You Need To Vote in Maine This November
Election Day is November 6. Polls open between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., depending on the location, and close at 8:00 p.m.
What ID You Need to Vote
If you are registering to vote on Election Day you must provide proof of identity and residency. Acceptable ID includes:
- Government issued photograph identification document or credential (including, but not limited to, a United States passport, military identification, a driver’s license or state identification).
- Other government-issued identification document without a photograph (including, but not limited to, a certified birth certificate or a signed social security card).
- An official document (including, but not limited to, a document confirming public benefit eligibility, a utility bill, a bank statement, a government check, a paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of voter).
- A verified unique identifier for new voters (including, but not limited to, a Maine driver’s license).
First-Time Voters: If a new Maine voter who mails a voter registration application or submits an application through a third party does not include with the application a photocopy of one of the following identifying documents, an election official will contact the person to arrange submission of one of the following documents:
- Maine driver’s license or other valid photo ID
- current utility bill
- bank statement
- paycheck; or
- other government document that shows the voter’s name and address.
Early and Absentee Voting
No excuse is required. Any registered voter may cast an absentee ballot instead of voting in person on Election Day and is not required to provide an excuse. A person may request a ballot from the municipal clerk beginning three months prior to Election Day in one of the following ways: written request by mail, fax, or in person; by phone; or online. The ballot may be delivered by mail or in person to the municipal clerk.
An individual may also vote absentee in person at a municipal clerk’s office before Election Day and will not have to complete an absentee ballot application. In-person absentee voting begins 30 to 45 days before Election Day. A voter’s request to vote absentee will be rejected if the clerk receives the request after November 1 unless the voter signs an application stating that one of the following reasons applies:
- Unexpected absence from the municipality during the entire time the polls are open on Election Day;
- Physical disability or an incapacity or illness that has resulted in the voter’s inability to leave home or a treatment facility; or
- Inability to travel to the polls if the voter is a resident of a coastal island ward or precinct.
Recent Legislation Affecting Maine's Voting Laws
In 2011, the Maine legislature passed a law ending Election Day registration. However, several groups were able to collect enough signatures to put a repeal of the law on the ballot. The repeal won and Election Day registration was restored.
This year, the legislature once again attempted to pass voter photo ID legislation. The legislation failed to gain traction. However, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee instructed the secretary of state to conduct a thorough examination of Maine’s election system and report back with possible draft legislation in 2013.
- Guide to Get Out the Vote (GOTV) in Maine (2012)
- Identification Requirements to Vote in Maine (2012)
- Conducting a Voter Registration Drive in Maine (2012)
- Voter Eligibility Guide for Maine (2012)
- Maine Student Voting Guide (2012)
- All is Fair in...Voting?
- Election Officers Who Block the Vote
- 2011 in Review: The Good, the Bad, and What's Ahead in 2012 for Voting Rights