A Maine bill that would allow unenrolled voters to vote in party primaries has gained bipartisan support in the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and the support of former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe.
The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, would allow unregistered voters to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primaries, but would not allow enrolled voters to vote across party lines.
Unenrolled voters who participate in a primary will not be automatically enrolled in the party; however, participants will be counted as party members for the purposes of selecting and allocating delegates to state and national conventions.
Maine is one of 14 states that limits primaries to party members. If the bill passes the legislature and is signed by Governor Janet Mills, it will not take effect until the state’s next presidential primary in March 2024.