How to register to vote

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By: Asha Tompkins, Community Editor

It’s voting season here in Maine and voting calls for registration. If you’re not voting simply because the guidelines for registration resemble a text book about applied plant sciences from the 1800’s, fear not. Your eyes have come to the right place.

First things first:
If you’re younger than 17-years-old, or are not United States citizen, then unfortunately you cannot vote. If you’re 17-years-old then you can register to vote, but you cannot vote until you turn 18. However, if you turn 18 by the time of the general election, congratulations, you can vote in primary elections at the age of 17.

If you are a U.S. citizen but not a Maine resident:
You can still vote in Maine if your heart so desires.
In order to do so, Maine.gov states that you must, “declare and establish your residency and domicile.”
In other words, if you’re a residential student living on the Gorham campus, you can register to vote using that address. In fact, you can use your dorm, apartment, house or even a hotel as your “established voting residence,” if you have the intention of staying there for the time being. If you’ve registered before, make sure to include the address to where you used to be registered to vote (either inside or outside of Maine). If this is your first time registering to vote, you can ignore the part about previous voting residency.

If this is your first time:
Greetings and welcome to politics.

Where to complete a voter registration application:
According to Maine.gov, you can register in person at a town hall because there is no registration deadline. Yes, procrastinators: that means you can walk in on the day of the General and Referendum Election, Nov. 6. There are also options online (such as https://register.rockthevote.com/registrants/new), through mail or through a voter registration drive, but those have a cut-off date of 21 days before the election. For example, the deadline for the general and referendum election was Oct. 16.

If you pay out-of-state tuition: You can still establish Maine residency for the purpose of voting. If you established residency out-of-state and want to vote there, you can vote by absentee ballot for that state.
Remember, every vote counts, so drag yourself out of that bed and register so you can get a shiny “I Voted” sticker on Nov. 6.

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