Some Caribou voters switching parties before March 3 presidential primary

CARIBOU, Maine — A trend of some Caribou voters switching parties could add excitement to the local presidential primary elections on March 3, said a Caribou city official.


Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin said that while she recently saw one person switch their affiliation to the Democratic Party, out of just under 20 people, most have recently switched from Democrat to Republican. 

The Maine Legislature passed a law last year switching to a presidential primary process, so 2020 will be the first time in more than a decade that voters will not need to attend a caucus in order to vote for a nominee. For presidential elections held from 2004 to 2016, Maine voters needed to go to party-funded caucuses in order to vote for a nominee. 

Farrin said this change may be contributing to residents coming in and changing their parties and that it could bring some excitement to the primary.

There is also a change in how residents register to vote. Since the Caribou city office closed for the day on Feb. 11, residents can no longer take a card home and register to vote through this method. They must now register in person, either in front of the clerk or the voter registrar.

The last day any Caribou or Connor Township voters can switch their party prior to the March 3 presidential primary is Friday, Feb. 14.

Anyone who will be 18 by Nov. 3 of this year, or who was born on Nov. 3, 2002, can vote in the primaries.

While tomorrow is the deadline to switch parties in Caribou, voters can request an absentee ballot right through 7 p.m. on Feb. 27 at the city office.

Farrin also cautioned Democrats to check who is still running, as Andrew Yang recently dropped out of the race but will still be listed on the ballot. 

The primary election for Caribou and Connor Township voters will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Caribou Wellness and Recreation Center on 55 Bennett Drive.

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