Kennebunk Town Clerk Merton Brown, shown here in a 2018, is reminding Kennebunk voters that if they want to take part in the March 3 Presidential Primary they should check their voter registration and enrollment. Tammy Wells Photo

KENNEBUNK — March 3 may be many months away, but those who want to participate in Maine’s Presidential Primary might want to start thinking about it now.

That is the word from Town Clerk Merton Brown, who told the Kennebunk Select Board on Tuesday, Dec. 10 that people must be registered to vote and enrolled in the party for which they want to cast a ballot in the primary.

The coming year promises to be a big one for politics — and for elections. Maine will have three in 2020 — the March 3 presidential primary and a citizen initiative referendum question; the state primary election on June 9; and the general election on Nov. 3, which includes votes for president, members of congress, and the Maine Legislature.

“Maine hasn’t had a presidential primary since 2000,” said Brown. Instead, since then, political parties have held caucuses in Maine to choose the individual they prefer as their candidate for president in the general election.

While Mainers can register to vote and enroll in a party on Election Day, those already enrolled in a party and decide that they’d like to make a change cannot do so after Feb. 14. said Brown. Only those who are unenrolled in a party may enroll on Election Day.

Three parties, Democrats, Green Independents and Republicans were qualified to participate in the March 3 primary. The Green Independent Party chose not to participate in the Presidential Primary election but will hold party caucuses to select a presidential candidate and conduct other party-building activities, according to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office.

The referendum election — a people’s veto question — which takes place on the same day as the presidential primary and is open to all registered voters, enrolled and unenrolled and comes as a result of a citizen initiative petition. Voters will be asked: “Do you want to reject the new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring immunization against certain communicable diseases for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of nursery schools and health care facilities?”

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