Thursday, June 20, 2019

Governor Mills' Signature Sets Maine Presidential Primary for Super Tuesday

A day after LD 1626 cleared its last legislative hurdle on the final day of the 2019 Maine state legislative session, Governor Janet Mills (D) signed the bill to reestablish a presidential primary in the Pine Tree state.

The primary is scheduled for the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March which aligns the new Maine presidential primary with at least 14 other states and territories on Super Tuesday. The move does not represent a huge shift with respect to the date of the contest. It shifts from the Sunday after Super Tuesday to Super Tuesday itself. But the caucus to primary change is in line with a number of other states that have added the option for the 2020 cycle (Colorado, Minnesota and Utah). The new or newly reestablished primaries in all four states will fall on Super Tuesday.

Under the new law, state parties have some discretion in a couple of important areas for how the delegate selection process will operate in the state. By November 1, the state parties have to inform the secretary of state whether they will opt into the primary election. Maine Democrats in their draft delegate selection plan have already indicated that if a presidential primary is established, then their plan will be reworked. It remains to be seen whether state Republicans will opt in. However, it was telling that with only a few exception, state legislative Republicans were against the reestablishment of a presidential primary election.

For those state parties that do opt in to utilizing the presidential primary as the means of allocating national convention delegates there is an additional deadline. State parties will have until December 1 to decide which voters can participate in the party's primary. Failure to notify the secretary of state by that date means that only voters enrolled in the party can participate in the primary. In other words, it would be closed.

The Maine presidential primary and date changes will be added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.

1/18/19: Maine Lost its Presidential Primary

2/1/19: Maine Decision to Re-Establish a Presidential Primary Option for 2020 Hinges on Money

2/9/19: Maine Committee Hearing Highlights Familiar Divisions in Caucus to Primary Shifts

3/16/19: Alternative Bill Would Reestablish a Presidential Primary in Maine but with Ranked Choice Voting

3/22/19: Maine Committee Hearing Finds Support for and Roadblocks to a Ranked Choice Presidential Primary

3/30/19: Maine Democrats Signal Caucuses in Draft Delegate Selection Plan, but...

4/23/19: New Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill Introduced in Maine

5/10/19: Maine Committee Working Session Offers Little Clarity on 2020 Presidential Primary

6/3/19: Maine Senate Advances Super Tuesday Primary Bill

6/4/19: On to the Governor: Maine House Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

6/19/19: Fate of a Reestablished Presidential Primary in Maine Not Clear Entering Final Legislative Day

Follow FHQ on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook or subscribe by Email.

No comments: