Houses opposes bill to open Maine primaries to unenrolled voters

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - A bill to let unenrolled voters vote in primary elections was voted down by the house Thursday.

It would open up primaries to let voters not enrolled in a party the chance to vote in whichever party's primary they choose.

We're told about 35% of maine voters are unenrolled.

Supporters of the bill say open primaries give non-party voters a voice in the primary.

"80% of Maine voters support allowing unenrolled voters to participate in the party primaries," said Kaitlin LaCasse, Campaign Manger for Open Primaries Maine. "These are taxpayer funded elections and it's really important for all voters to have a say in who is going to be on the ballot in November."

Opponents say it's important for parties to choose who they want on the ballot.

"I'm against it because I really believe it's up to the parties to pick their candidates," said Rep. Scott Strom, R-Pittsfield. "I have no choice to vote in the Democrat primary and I would not want to. I don't want to pick their candidates. And I don't think an unenrolled voter should pick a party candidate."

We're told the Senate is likely to oppose the bill as well.