I am writing in support of L.D. 231, An Act To Establish Open Primaries. L.D. 231 would establish semi-open primaries, meaning that voters who are not enrolled in a party would be permitted to cast one ballot in the primary of their choice. Republicans would not be able to vote in Democratic primaries, and Democrats would not be able to vote in Republican primaries.

Last year, I retired from the City Clerk’s office in Portland, where I participated in the election process for 15 years. Semi-open primaries would allow unenrolled voters to participate in primaries more efficiently than the current option.

At this time, unenrolled voters have to change their voter registration to a party by filling out a new-voter registration card. This is processed by the clerk’s office. After the primary, the voter must fill out another new voter registration card to change back to “unenrolled.” It is cumbersome for the voter as well as for the clerks’ offices.

Since the majority of Mainers support open primaries, and it streamlines the process for the voters and the clerks, I hope the Legislature will join me in supporting L.D. 231.

Jody Huntington

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