It will be the first time in 20 years that Maine Democrats and Republicans will vote in a presidential primary instead of a caucus, called Super Tuesday. Twelve candidates will appear on the Democratic ballot, including several who have already ended their campaigns. At polling places on election day, the names of those who have withdrawn from the election will be posted, and votes for them will be counted as blanks. On the Republican ballot, President Trump is the only candidate.
In Maine, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap oversees elections. Earlier in the week Secretary Dunlap acknowledged that some voters might be surprised to discover that the primary ballot does not use ranked-choice voting. When the ranked-choice voting referendum was adopted by the voters in 2016, it didn’t include the presidential races. It was only state and federal races. The legislature had to take separate action to include the presidential primary and the general election in ranked-choice voting. When they did so, they adopted ranked-choice voting for the presidential primary and for the presidential general election. Governor Janet Mills allowed it to become law without her signature, and the technical outcome of that was that it doesn’t take effect until 90 days after the adjournment of the current legislative session. Therefore, Maine won’t use it for the March 3 primary, because there is actually a pending People’s Veto application. There is a group circulating petitions to stop this — if that effort is not successful, then Maine would see it for the November election.
Any eligible voter can vote in the primary in this election cycle. However, there are a couple elements to consider. If you are a registered Republican, and you wanted to vote in the Democratic primary, it’s too late because there’s a 15-day blackout period. If you’re an unenrolled voter or you’re not registered to vote, you can register, enroll on primary day, and vote in one of the primaries.