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Politics

Former Sen. Olympia Snowe Backs Proposal To Open Maine Primaries

Olympia Snowe
J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, speaks with reporters at the Capitol as Congress returns to work in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. Snowe didn’t run for re-election because of what she called gridlock and partisanship in Washington.

Former Republican U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe is putting her support behind a bill to open Maine's primaries.

The Democrat-sponsored bill would make it possible for unenrolled voters to cast a ballot in party primaries.

Snowe said in a press release from the group Open Primaries Maine: “In order to help ensure that candidates better reflect the ideological pragmatism of most Americans, Maine should enact semi-open primaries.”

Participating voters would not automatically become enrolled in a party after voting.

Maine is one of only 14 states that maintain closed primaries.