An Act To Amend the Laws on the Conduct of Elections and To Establish a Nonpartisan Primary Election System for State and Federal Candidates
Sec. 1. 21-A MRSA §111, sub-§5, as amended by PL 2005, c. 387, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 2. 21-A MRSA §144, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2005, c. 453, §27, is further amended to read:
This subsection does not apply in the case of a voter who changes enrollment under subsection 4.
Sec. 3. 21-A MRSA §144, sub-§3, as repealed and replaced by PL 2013, c. 457, §2, is amended to read:
Sec. 4. 21-A MRSA §334, as amended by PL 2009, c. 253, §16, is further amended to read:
§ 334. Qualification of candidate for primary nomination
A candidate for nomination by primary election must file a primary petition and consent under sections 335 and 336. The candidate must be enrolled, on or before March 15th, in the party named in the petition and must be eligible to file a petition as a candidate for nomination by primary election under section 144, subsection 3. The registrar in the candidate's municipality of residence must certify to that fact on a form designed by the Secretary of State.
Sec. 5. 21-A MRSA §340, as enacted by PL 1987, c. 423, §3, is repealed.
Sec. 6. 21-A MRSA §431, sub-§2, as enacted by PL 2015, c. 474, §4, is amended to read:
Sec. 7. 21-A MRSA §603, sub-§7 is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. 21-A MRSA §625, as amended by PL 2009, c. 538, §7, is further amended by adding at the end a new paragraph to read:
The clerk shall post a sample ballot in or near each voting booth on election day.
Sec. 9. 21-A MRSA §673, sub-§1, ¶A, as corrected by RR 2011, c. 2, §21, is amended to read:
(2) Is not enrolled in the proper party, if voting in a primary election;
(3) Is not qualified to be a registered voter because the challenged person:
(a) Does not meet the age requirements as specified in section 111, subsection 2 and section 111-A;
(b) Is not a citizen of the United States; or
(c) Is not a resident of the municipality or appropriate electoral district within the municipality;
(4) Registered to vote during the closed period or on election day and did not provide satisfactory proof of identity and residency to the registrar pursuant to section 121, subsection 1-A, except that only an election official may challenge for this reason;
(5) Did not properly apply for an absentee ballot;
(6) Did not properly complete the affidavit on the absentee return envelope;
(7) Did not cast the ballot or complete the affidavit before the appropriate witness;
(8) Communicated with someone as prohibited by section 754-A, subsection 1, paragraph B or subsection 3, paragraph B or D;
(9) Did not have the ballot returned to the clerk by the time prescribed;
(10) Voted using the name of another;
(11) Committed any other specified violation of this Title; or
(12) Voted using the wrong ballot for the appropriate electoral district or political party, if applicable.
Sec. 10. 21-A MRSA §759, sub-§2, as amended by PL 2007, c. 455, §42, is further amended to read:
Sec. 11. 21-A MRSA §759, sub-§3, ¶C, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 161, §6, is amended to read:
Sec. 12. 21-A MRSA §759, sub-§4, as amended by PL 2007, c. 455, §43, is further amended to read:
Sec. 13. 21-A MRSA §825, sub-§1, as enacted by PL 1985, c. 161, §6, is repealed.
Sec. 14. Effective date. This Act takes effect January 1, 2018.
This bill amends the election laws to create a nonpartisan primary process for the election of Legislators, United States Senators, Representatives to Congress and other state and county officers.
The bill also amends the laws on the conduct of elections by requiring that a sample ballot be provided with an absentee ballot and that a sample ballot be posted in or near each voting booth on election day. It also removes the requirement that a voter must file an application to change party enrollment prior to January 1st to be eligible to file a petition as a candidate in that election year.