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Here are the answers to your questions about voting in the midterms in Maine

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Maine Public is partnering with America Amplified to answer questions about how to participate in the 2022 midterm elections. Here are some of the top questions we have been able to answer thus far.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered yet? Submit your question on our form or by texting “Maine Public” to 855-670-1777.

I know that some races in Maine use ranked choice voting and others don't. Which ones are which?

According to the Maine legislature, ranked-choice voting only applies to primary elections for Congress, governor, state senator, and state representative. General election races for federal office also are ranked choice — this November, those are the House races in both of Maine's congressional districts. If you want to learn more about how the process works, here’s an FAQ on ranked choice from the Secretary of State’s office.

Who are the candidates running in the midterm election?

To find out who is running and what will be on your specific ballot, go to the Maine Voter Information Lookup Service website.

How do I register? Where can I find information on when and where to vote in November? Is there a list of the candidates I can use to research who I think I want to vote for?

You can register to vote at your town or city hall, motor vehicle branch office, and in most state and federal social service agencies. You can find out more, including how to print an application, at the Secretary of State’s website. To find out where to vote in November, along with hours for Election Day and candidate information, this website will provide that information. Maine Public is hosting debates for each of the statewide races; for the full schedule and more about the candidates, please visit mainepublic.org/yourvote.

How can I confirm that I am still registered to vote?

Unfortunately, you cannot check your voter registration status online. The best thing to do is to reach out to your local election official and they will look up your registration status.

How do I obtain an absentee ballot?

You can request your absentee ballot online from the Secretary of State’s office. You can make your request at any time, but printed ballots will not be mailed out until 30 days prior to Election Day. If you request it within those 30 days, it should arrive within 7-10 days. To be counted, all absentee ballots must be received by your municipal clerk by 8 p.m. on Election Day. If you are worried about your ballot being returned on time you can drop it off in person at your municipal office or a designated ballot drop box.

When can I vote early for the November midterm election? When can I preview my ballot?

You may vote absentee at the municipal clerk's office in your town or city as soon as absentee ballots are available. Absentee ballots are available at least 30 days before the election at the municipal clerk's office. You don't need to complete an application if you vote in person at the clerk's office. The deadline for absentee voting in the presence of the clerk, unless special circumstances exist, is the Thursday before the election. More information about absentee voting is available on the Secretary of State’s website. To preview your ballot, fill in your information at the Maine Voter Information Look Up Service website.

I have noticed candidate signs appearing but the signs don’t indicate whether the candidate is Republican or Democrat. What are the legal guidelines for political signs?

Maine's campaign laws say that candidates' signs must include information that they were authorized by a candidate or political committee, but do not require party affiliation material. You can read more at this website.

Are there any debates scheduled for this fall in Maine?

You can find everything you need to know about recent and upcoming debates on Maine Public’s Your Vote 2022 web page.

How many women of voting age live in Maine? How many of those are registered to vote, regardless of political affiliation?

While the Maine Secretary of State's office does compile voter data, it does not include gender in that data.

I would like to know how each candidate stands on election safety. Does each believe Maine has safe elections? Do they believe Biden won in 2020?  

You can find information about candidates and issues online at Maine Public’s Your Vote page. On the same page you can find links to candidate debates that were held earlier this month. Candidates were asked about their views on election security and the results of the 2020 election.

Who is up for election? Is it just Senators? And Governors ? 

To see which races will be on your ballot, download a sample ballot for your district here: https://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/upcoming/rcv.html.

What does American society get out of it when billions of dollars are spent on political campaigns? Are those dollars contributing to a voter's understanding of important issues and where the candidates stand?  

Our Political Pulse podcast has a particular interest in campaign fundraising; you can see the team's reporting at mainepublic.org/pulse

This post will be updated as we continue to get questions, and find answers!

Corrected: October 13, 2022 at 10:20 AM EDT
Added House races in both of Maine's congressional district to list of races with ranked-choice voting.