Monday, May 23, 2016
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary Dunlap reminds voters to plan ahead if seeking to change political party affiliation

AUGUSTA ? Maine voters who are enrolled in a political party and would like to change their party affiliation in time to cast a ballot in the June 14 Primary Election must do so by Friday, May 27 in most municipalities.

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap reminds voters that State law requires a 15-day waiting period after a change of enrollment before a citizen can cast a ballot in that party?s primary or participate in its caucus or convention. Thus, due to the Memorial Day holiday and the closure of most town offices on Saturdays, the deadline to change enrollment is Friday, May 27.

The State of Maine recognizes three qualified political parties: Democratic, Republican and Green Independent. All other registered voters are considered ?unenrolled,? whether they consider themselves independent voters or members of other political parties that are not qualified in Maine, such as Libertarian or Socialist.

Unenrolled voters can enroll in a party at any time, including Election Day, since the State of Maine offers Election Day voter registration. Registered voters who are enrolled in one of the three qualified parties, however, must meet certain deadlines to change their party affiliation prior to primary elections in which their party is choosing its candidates.

Voters must remain in a party for three months before they are eligible to file an application for withdrawal or a change in enrollment. Additionally, those who withdraw from a party are ineligible to enroll in a different party for 15 days.