Can a Felon Vote in Maine?

Maine is the northernmost state of the country. It is the 41st most populous state of the United States with a population of almost 1.4 million people. Its capital is Augusta. However, most people know of Portland more due to its big population.

The Maine Department of Corrections has four departments namely Adult Community Corrections, Adult Facilities, Prison Industries and Juvenile Services.

Felon Disenfranchisement is a rising problem in the United States. Most advocates of felon enfranchisement point out that it is an excessive sanction which is against the Eight Amendment. Convicts in Maine are lucky enough to not experience such.

Can felons vote in Maine?

Felons in Maine can vote. It is one of the only two (2) states in America wherein individuals convicted of a felony never lose their voting rights. The other state is Vermont.

Individuals from Maine can vote whether they are incarcerated, on probation or on parole. Maine and Vermont are the two outlier states in the country.

Because of this, pro-felon voting rights champion Maine and Vermont as model states. As a result of this leniency, Maine and Vermont do not have a problem with disenfranchised individuals.

As stated earlier, Felon Disenfranchisement is a rising problem in the country. There are states which have at least one disenfranchised individual out of five. America has disenfranchised the most number of individuals in the past decade.

How can felons restore their voting rights in Maine?

As aforementioned, felons do not lose their voting rights in Maine. However, there are still requirements needed to be complied with before one can vote. The following are the requirements in order to be eligible to vote in Maine:

  1. Individual must be an American Citizen;
  2. Individual must at least be 17 years old; and
  3. Individual must have a fixed principal home in Maine

An individual may register at the following sites:

  • Town office or city hall
  • State social service agency
  • Federal social service agency
  • Motor Vehicle branch office
  • Voter Registration Drives
  • Secretary of State‚Äôs Office

The registration card can be handed in personally or sent via mail. After successful registration, the individual may call the city hall or town office to know his or her polling precinct. On the day of election, the individual may proceed to his assigned voting precinct. For felons currently incarcerated, the poling precinct is usually located inside the facility or he or she may opt to mail his ballot instead.

Sources

http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/voterguide.html

http://www.maine.gov/corrections/

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