The general election on November 6th is coming quickly. Are you registered, researched and ready?
How do you register to vote? You fill out a voter registration card. You can register until/on Election Day. You must register in person and must show ID and proof of where you live. ( 21-A MRSA §121) Where do you register to vote? You can register to vote at your town office or city hall, or through any Motor Vehicle branch office. Completed voter registration cards may be hand delivered (it is too late to mail a voter registration card) to your town office or city hall, or to the Secretary of State’s Office in Augusta.
If you’ve already registered, but wish to verify your registration, contact the Maine Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions, your town office or city hall.
Also, make sure you know where you go to cast your vote; find your local polling place. .
RESEARCH THE CANDIDATES AND ISSUES
- Go to Maine.gov for voter information look up; to find out who the candidates are in your district. Also, if you live in Portland you can look up your district information on the city’s webpage.
- Read the Easy To Read Voter Guide published by the League of Women’s Voters of Maine; a nonpartisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major political policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
- Read the Maine Citizens Guide to the Referendum Election - inside this booklet, you will find the referendum questions, the legislation each question represents, a summary of the intent and content of the legislation, an explanation of the significance of a “yes” or “no” vote, and much more information.
- Find sample ballots on the City of Portland webpage. Since the ballot is different for each town, look for voter information and a sample ballot at your town’s website. Sample ballots may not be available very far in advance of the election. If your town has not posted a sample ballot, you can call them and ask them to do so. Find contact information for your town on the State of Maine website.
- Find the MAINE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Candidates for your district. You can learn more about them on Ballotpedia; a nonprofit and nonpartisan collaborative encyclopedia designed to connect people to politics
- Search for news articles about the candidates and issues via the Maine Newsstand (with a Maine library card) -an index to and full text coverage of five Maine newspapers. Database includes coverage of the Bangor Daily News (12/3/92-present), the Kennebec Journal (Augusta) (6/11/93-present), the Portland Press Herald (10/30/95-present), Lewiston Sun Journal (2006-present) and the Central Maine Morning Sentinel (Waterville) (8/12/93-present). Selected business coverage of the Maine Times (2/4/94-4/25/02) is also included. Updated daily. Available through MARVEL! Maine’s Virtual Library.
- Visit Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Maine’s only nonprofit investigative news service, providing independent reporting on Maine government and elections.
- Research Voting History - If a candidate is currently in office or previously held office, you can view the person’s voting history. In order to do this, you need to know information about a piece of legislation the candidate voted on, such as bill name or number. If the candidate served in Congress, you can find voting history by visiting Congress.gov and checking the Major Actions tab on a piece of legislation, such as Senate bill 3199. Here you’ll find links to Senate sites that contain a record of the vote on the bill. If the candidate served in a state office, then try checking the Maine State Legislature site for similar information.
- Use your PPL card to access library databases including Global Issues in Context (a colorful wealth of resources explaining the background and viewpoints necessary for understanding global issues, conflicts, and events) and Opposing Viewpoints (an online resource covering today’s hottest social issues).
- To learn more about the Electoral College read FAQ’s from the Office of the Federal Register.
- Visit USA.gov- where you can explore topics, conduct a search or even ask questions via chat to a government representative. Learn about voter registration; researching candidates; tracking fundraising and spending; contributing to the election process; and more.