Maine lawmakers on Monday took up a pair of bills to allow unenrolled voters, not just party members, to participate in primary elections.


Two of the proposals would let unenrolled voters participate in primaries, creating a semi-open primary, while a third would create one primary ballot using ranked-choice voting.


The Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee held a public hearing on the proposed bills on Monday.


Proponents say that opening up primary elections would increase voter participation. Unenrolled, or independent, voters make up roughly a third of Maine’s electorate. As it stands, only registered members of a party can vote in their own party’s primary election in Maine.