Tuesday, June 4, 2019

On to the Governor: Maine House Passes Super Tuesday Presidential Primary Bill

The Maine state House on Tuesday, June 4 made quick work of the amended bill the state Senate passed the day before to reestablish a presidential primary in the Pine Tree state.

By an 88-53 vote, the state House passed LD 1626, creating anew a presidential primary in Maine for the first time since the 2000 cycle. The mostly party line vote -- there was one defection on each side -- saw majority Democrats in favor of the measure and minority Republicans in opposition.

Regardless, state House passage now clears the way for the bill to go before Governor Janet Mills (D) for her consideration. The bill would shift Maine from its place among the remaining handful of caucus states into the primary column alongside other caucus-turned-primary states like Colorado and Minnesota. It would also schedule the newly reestablished presidential primary in Maine on Super Tuesday, aligned with Colorado and Minnesota (among others) as well. In its amended form, the measure would also grant state parties in Maine the ability to opt to include unaffiliated voters in the presidential primary, a break from the Maine tradition of closed primaries.

Governor Mills now has ten days (not counting Sundays) to act on the bill.

UPDATE: Please see a discussion of the additional legislative hurdle that stood in the way of this bill going to the governor here. 

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

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

6/20/19: Governor Mills' Signature Sets Maine Presidential Primary for Super Tuesday

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