We must protect our health and our civil liberties at the same time, including our fundamental right to vote. Learn how to vote by absentee ballot, the safest option for many this election cycle, and know your rights. We encourage you to vote early and vote absentee if you are able to.
Jump to a section:
- Registering to vote
- Requesting an absentee ballot
- Ranked Choice Voting
- Returning your absentee ballot
- Voting in person
- Contact the ACLU of Maine's Voter Protection Hotline (Extended Hours)
We will be updating this page with any new information or new guidance as we receive it. Please check back to make sure you have up-to-date information. This page was last updated on October 28, 2020.
Registering to Vote
You must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen (born here or naturalized) and a resident of Maine to vote. If you're not sure whether you've already registered to vote, check with your local election official, the Town Clerk. Find your Town Clerk's contact information here.
How to Register
Print, fill out and mail your voter registration form to your Town Clerk. If this is your first time registering to vote in Maine, you must submit a copy of an official document that has your name and current address on it. This could be your Maine-issued ID, a current utility bill, a paystub, a bank statement or other government document.
If you can’t print out the registration form, you can call your Town Clerk and have them mail it to you. Fill it out and mail it back, or drop it off in person at your Town Clerk’s office.
Find your Town Clerk's contact information here.
If you’re sending your voter registration form back by mail, your Town Clerk must receive it by October 19.
If you miss this deadline, it’s ok. You can still register in person at your Town Clerk’s office throughout October and upto Election Day (November 3), or you can register at your polling place on Election Day (November 3). We strongly recommend that people register as soon as possible and not wait until Election Day.
You can go to your Town Clerk’s office in person to fill out your voter registration form. If this is your first time registering to vote in Maine, you must bring an official document that has your name and current address on it to show the Town Clerk. This could be your Maine-issued ID, a current utility bill, a paystub, a bank statement or other government document.
Requesting an absentee ballot
After registering (or if you’re already registered) to vote, you can request your absentee ballot online.
You can also call your Town Clerk and ask them to send you an absentee ballot request form. Fill it out and mail it back or drop it off.
You can also go to the Town Clerk’s office in person to fill out a ballot request form.
The Town Clerk will process your request form and mail you an absentee ballot.
We strongly suggest you request your absentee ballot by October 16.
After October 16, we strongly suggest you go to your Town Clerk’s office, request and pick up your absentee ballot in person, and complete it on the same visit if you’ve already decided how you’re going to vote. This is known as "in-person" absentee voting. In-person absentee voting is going to be available through October 30. Check your town's website or call your Town Clerk to confirm their hours. Some town clerks are extending their hours ahead of Election Day to accommodate early voting.
Ranked Choice Voting
Maine will be using ranked choice voting to determine the presidential and congressional races this year. The Maine Secretary of State's website has useful guidance about how ranked choice voting works, and how to properly mark your ballot.
Returning your absentee ballot
Research important local, state and national issues. Once you’ve made up your mind about how you’re going to vote, complete your absentee ballot.
You can return your absentee ballot by mail, or in person at your Town Clerk's office. Additionally, most municipalities will have a secure ballot drop box either inside or outside the Town Clerk's office, where you can deposit your absentee ballot. You can call your Town Clerk to learn whether your community has a secure ballot dropbox, or check your town's website. Find your Town Clerk’s contact information here.
Whatever method of returning your absentee ballot you choose, your Town Clerk MUST receive your ballot by 8 p.m. on November 3 for your vote to count.
If you’re going to mail back your ballot, we strongly suggest you mail your ballot by October 20 so it gets to your Town Clerk in time. After October 20, we recommend returning your absentee ballot in person at the Town Clerk's office or at your community's secure ballot drop box.
You can track whether your Town Clerk has received your ballot by visiting this website.
Voting in person
While people should make every effort to register early and to vote by absentee ballot, you still have the right to vote in person at your polling place on Election Day (November 3).
If you must vote in person, remember to wear a mask to your polling place. Election officials will set up the polling location to ensure COVID safety protocols.
Check your town’s website, or call the Town Clerk’s office, to find your polling place and the hours it will be open.
If you’ve already registered, you don’t need an ID to vote in Maine. And if you haven’t registered yet, you can do so at your polling place on Election Day. If you plan on registering on Election Day, you’ll be asked to prove your identity and current address. You can do this by showing your Maine-issued ID, a current utility bill, a paystub, a bank statement or other government document. Even if you have none of this documentation, you can still register to vote. You will have to sign a legal document known as an affidavit attesting to your identity and eligibility to vote.
You can’t be turned away from your polling place. If you think you’re eligible to vote but a poll worker questions this, ask to cast a “challenged ballot.”
If you need help reading or marking your ballot, you can bring a friend or ask a poll worker to help you. And if you make a mistake, you can ask for a new ballot.
Finally, voter intimidation is illegal. Examples of voter intimidation include any person or group of people aggressively questioning a voter about their qualifications to vote, such as their citizenship, any person or group of people spreading false information about voting requirements, such as the ability to speak English, and other harassment, particularly toward non-English speakers and people of color.
If someone tries to pressure you into voting a certain way or not at all, report it to a polling official. They are well-trained and there to help. You may also report the incident to the ACLU of Maine's Voter Protection Hotline.
Contact the ACLU of Maine's Voter Protection Hotline
All voters who have questions about voting or encounter trouble at any point in the voting process -- from registering to vote, to casting an absentee ballot, to voting at their polling place on November 3 -- are encouraged to call or text the ACLU of Maine's Voter Protection Hotline at 207-204-VOTE (8683) [TTY line: 207-204-8684].
The ACLU of Maine's Voter Protection Hotline is staffed by volunteers every day, including on the weekend, from 8 am - 8 pm. The hotline will have extended hours on Election Day, November 3, from 6 am - 10 pm. Voters can leave a message if they call outside of those hours, or if they do not immediately reach a hotline staffer. Their call will be returned. Voters can also email email@example.com.
The ACLU of Maine’s Voter Protection Hotline offers on-demand interpretation services in more than 200 languages. Voters who do not speak English or have limited English proficiency are encouraged to call if they have questions or encounter issues with voting.