Open Primaries Discussion with Dennis Damon and Jill Goldthwait on Thurs., Feb. 28

37% Maine voters are “independents” and are not currently registered in any of Maine’s three parties. That’s more than the number of Democrats (32%) or Republicans (27%). This large chunk of Mainers do not have a voice in Maine’s primary elections. However new legislation in Augusta is proposing a change to the state’s primaries to make them open to these voters. Join Dennis Damon and Jill Goldthwait at the Jesup Memorial Library on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. as they talk about open primaries and answer your questions.

Currently only voters affiliated with one of Maine’s three parties (Democrat, Republican or Green Independent) can cast their ballot in a primary election. If an independent voter wants to vote in a primary, they must declare for party at the polls on t primary election day. The voter must then stay affiliated with that chosen party for at least three months before changing their voter registration again. The proposed legislation would change this system and allow independent voters to vote in one primary.

Damon graduated from Mount Desert High School and then received a B.S. degree in education from the University of Maine at Orono. He has worked as a schoolteacher, coach, entrepreneur and small business owner. Damon was elected for four terms in the Maine Senate from 2002 to 2010.

Goldthwait was elected to the Bar Harbor Town Council for nine years, serving as chairman for eight. She was elected to four terms as an Independent in the Maine Senate from 1994 to 2002. She was Director of Government Relations at The Jackson Laboratory for nine years, retiring in 2012.  Currently, she is an award-winning political columnist for the Ellsworth American and the Mt. Desert Islander.

For more information on the talk contact the Jesup at 207-288-4245 or