ME Voter Registration Deadline. Oct 13, 21 days before Nov 3, 2020.
- Stage 3 -- No excuse required to vote by mail
No online registration available
Sara Collins lost
Jared Golden won US House of Representatives
• Maine: Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and state House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, both Democrats, are supporting a proposed bill that would automatically send absentee ballots in future elections to voters who opt in. In addition to the states that already mail every voter a ballot, a growing number of states have created similar systems in recent years that let voters sign up for some form of a permanent or semi-permanent absentee ballot list, eliminating the need to request a ballot for each individual election.
• Maine: A Maine state court has rejected a lawsuit by voting rights advocates seeking to have ballots postmarked by Election Day counted. Plaintiffs also wanted voters whose ballots are rejected for alleged signature mismatches the opportunity to fix any problems and have appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court. Separately, Democratic Gov. Janet Mills says she will not issue an executive order requiring that ballots postmarked by Election Day be counted.
• Maine: Maine's state Supreme Court, which is heavily composed of Democratic appointees, has rejected the GOP's request to suspend its late-September decision approving the use of instant-runoff voting for the presidency this November, meaning Maine will be the first state in history to use it for the Electoral College.
• Maine: Democratic officials in Maine have agreed to let visually impaired voters cast an absentee ballot electronically after voters filed a lawsuit in federal court last month to protect their right to vote safely and secretly. The agreement will let such voters receive their ballots electronically and fill them out using special screen-reading software.
• Maine: U.S. District Judge Lance Walker has rejected a request by Maine Republicans that he block the use of instant-runoff voting entirely. Walker's ruling concluded that IRV does not violate the First Amendment as Republicans had argued, meaning it will remain in effect for all federal contests, including the presidency, this November.
Walker's recent ruling follows his 2018 decision that thoroughly rejected the GOP's contention that IRV violated voters' constitutional rights, as former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin had claimed following his loss in the 2018 election to Democratic Rep. Jared Golden after an instant runoff. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals also turned back Poliquin's appeal in that case, so there's little reason to think Republicans would have any more success this year if they waged an appeal of Walker's latest ruling.
Separately, Republicans are still waging a challenge in state court after Democratic Secretary of State Matt Dunlap determined that Republicans were roughly 2,000 voter signatures shy of the 63,000 signatures needed to put a veto referendum on the ballot in November. Dunlap recently reaffirmed his decision to reject the referendum, but should the courts reverse him and allow the measure to qualify for the November ballot, it would automatically suspend the use of IRV in this year's presidential race pending the vote (it would remain in effect for Senate and House).
• Maine: The Maine Republican Party announced on Tuesday that it will attempt a veto referendum of a law Democrats passed in 2019 to extend instant-runoff voting (aka ranked-choice voting) to presidential elections, starting with this year's general election. If Republicans succeed in gathering the roughly 63,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, the law would be suspended until the vote on the measure takes place in November.
This means that if Republicans simply collect enough signatures, they could prevent the law from being used this year even if voters ultimately decide to keep it. Given that Hillary Clinton won Maine with only a plurality in 2016 and the swingy 2nd Congressional District is worth an Electoral College vote by itself, the absence of instant runoff voting could affect how the state awards its electoral votes this year in the event of a close race.
Republicans and a handful of Democratic legislators previously tried to repeal instant-runoff voting for congressional elections and state-level primaries, but voters rejected that effort by a 54-46 margin in a 2018 veto referendum of their own. If the GOP succeeds in placing this referendum on the ballot, it will be the third time in four years that voters will decide whether to implement instant-runoff voting.
ME-Sen: The Democratic group Majority Forward is out with what they say is a six-figure TV and digital buy that goes after GOP Sen. Susan Collins on drug prices. The spot argues that the incumbent "voted against measures that would have lowered the cost of prescription drugs while raking in $1.4 million from the drug and insurance industries."