Descriptions of Elections

Description of the State Primary Election

Primary Elections determine each qualified party’s nomination of candidates for federal offices and State and County offices.  Party candidates who are elected at the Primary qualify to appear on the November General Election ballot.

Offices included in the 2022 Primary Election are Governor, Representative to Congress (both districts), all 35 State Senate districts, all 151 State Representative districts, and the following county offices, which vary depending on the county: Judge of Probate, Register of Probate, County Treasurer, Register of Deeds, Sheriff, District Attorney and County Commissioner. 

In order to qualify for the Primary Election ballot, party candidates must gather a specified number of signatures on primary nomination petitions between January 1, 2022 and March 15, 2022 and submit these petitions to the Secretary of State’s Division of Elections by 5:00 p.m. on March 15, 2022.
Nonparty candidates gain access directly to the General Election ballot by gathering a specified number of signatures on nonparty nomination petitions between January 1, 2022 and June 1, 2022 and must submit these petitions to the Division of Elections by 5:00 pm on June 1, 2022. 

Description of the General Election

The General Election is held nationally on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.  In 2022, Maine voters will select their choice for Governor, Maine’s Representatives to Congress, members of the Maine Legislature, and certain county officers. 

Description of the Referendum Election

Referendum Elections are held to provide Maine's citizens an opportunity to vote on People's Veto Referenda, Direct Initiatives of Legislation (i.e. Citizen Initiatives), Bond Issues, other referenda proposed by the Legislature, and Constitutional Amendments.  Referendum elections are an important part of the heritage of public participation in Maine.