EMPOWERING VOTERS. DEFENDING DEMOCRACY.
The League of Women Voters of Maine is a nonpartisan, grassroots political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate. Membership is open to anyone 16 years of age or older.
Become a member.The League is a powerful, grassroots membership organization that works to educate voters and make government more accountable to the people.
Support our efforts.Your contribution goes towards our voter outreach and education projects, civic engagement, and advocacy work.
Join the team.Volunteers are vital to our success. There are plenty of ways to get involved with the League depending on your interest, skills, and availability.
What We Do
In 2023, we're going to increase voter turnout by working with marginalized communities, especially young people, immigrants and low-income workers. We will register students and new citizens to vote, canvass through our Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, and develop curricula to educate young people about government and civic engagement.Learn more
The Downeast Chapter of the League of Women Voters, in cooperation with WERU FM, produces a monthly radio program on topics in participatory democracy called the Democracy Forum. Broadcasts may be heard from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM on the third Friday of the month at WERU Community Radio, 89.9 FM.Learn more
We're here to help high school and college students register to vote, educate about how local government and civic engagement works, and protect the voter rights of young people.Learn more
Who we are
LWVME Member and volunteer Matthew Schaefer is a resident of Portland and practicing attorney. Increasingly uncomfortable with the disturbing political trends of the past several years, Matthew began volunteering with the League during the 2020 election cycle. He participates on the LWVME Advocacy Committee and several other committees focused on voting rights and election issues.
As a practicing lawyer for more than 25 years, Matthew has represented clients in tax, business, and appellate matters in Maine and across the country. He is a nationally recognized practitioner of state and local tax law who has appeared before courts and administrative agencies throughout the United States. Matthew has authored 10 briefs submitted to the Supreme Court of the United States and twice appeared as co-counsel in cases coming before the high court in recent years.
Outside of his law practice and volunteer activities, Matthew enjoys traveling with wonderful wife, Sarah Compton, exploring Portland’s amazing restaurant scene, and spending time with friends and family. Between them, Sarah and Matthew have four fantastic sons in their late teens and early twenties who are variously pursuing life and education in Maine and on the west coast.
Before moving to Maine in 2000, Matthew worked at a large law firm in Boston. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 1991 and obtained his law degree from Cornell Law School in 1994. Portland is now unquestionably home and the place where Matthew plans to devote his modest skills and energy to work toward a just and welcoming community.
Meet one of our newest members, who joined during our Centennial campaign to reach 1,000 members before our 101st birthday. While we didn't quite make that goal, we do have more members than ever before. That's really saying something — considering the long history of our organization!
Gloria started looking for volunteer opportunities at the start of the new year, specifically related to civic engagement. She wanted to do something that would bring about positive and lasting change. A few google searches later, she came across the League of Women Voters of Maine.
We first met Ava back in February during the League of Women Voters of Maine’s Advocacy Day. It was a cold day with a foot of snow on the ground. Ava traveled from Camden all the way to Augusta. We had asked her to participate in our voter engagement panel at the Blaine House, where she was joined by other activists, including Carrie LeVan and Pious Ali. Ava’s perspective was unlike anyone else’s on the panel.
Ava is a young Latina woman, fighting on the forefront of major socio-political movements. She is the epitome of Generation Z, born right out of the Great Recession. Generation Z grew up with technology at their fingertips and is more diverse than any generation.
During our Advocacy Day, Ava spoke about the power of a collective voice and the necessity of involving teens and college students in major political decisions and movements. Her generation has a voice, and they choose to use it. But together, with the strength and talent of all of us, of every generation, anything can happen.
Ava is also a member of our freshly launched Youth Council. The council is open to high school students, and we are looking for members to join. Learn more at lwvme.org/GOTV.
When Chris first worked to register voters in 2004, he knew he wanted to get more involved. He learned Maine’s unique history and how the state has paved the way for voter enfranchisement. He’s proud of his state for making democracy accessible to people with same-day registration and prisoner voting. Eventually, Chris became a board member for both Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and the League of Women Voters of Maine.
His mission is to help make democracy function well, especially for everyday citizens. Some states have different voting policies that are regressive and make it difficult to vote, if not impossible, for certain groups of people. Chris wants to educate Mainers that we are a leader in the nation with Clean Elections and Ranked Choice Voting.
Voters from higher socio-economic backgrounds are typically well represented. Chris wants to build equity and better voter representation from all communities. By going directly to marginalized groups, we are working to level the playing field and take away power from Big Money in politics.
Micky comes from a country where voter suppression is real. When you lose the right to vote, she says, you lose your sense of dignity and the ability to vote for what's right. She believes in civic engagement, coming together as many voices, and using that connection to create change.
She wants her community to get involved and learn how to empower themselves. “I just want to let them know the way I feel when I go cast my vote.” As an immigrant and American, Micky wants others to know that they have a role to play in elections.
For immigrants and survivors of refugee crises, language barriers have an impact on a person’s understanding of local politics. She asks the younger generation to think about how they feel about voting, voter suppression, or empowering someone from a marginalized community. She hopes they take a stand and be a voice for their parents. Together, we can help each other translate, explain, and make choices during the voting process.
New to Maine in 2014, Meg was looking to get involved in a civically engaged community group and was trying to better understand the local and state political landscape. She picked up a League of Women Voters’ Maine Candidate Guide and the rest is history. She attended the Portland Chapter’s community meeting, and swiftly joined their volunteer board in 2015. She even got to represent Maine at the National League of Women Voters meeting in DC in 2015 as one of a handful of youth representatives. Simultaneously, she joined Maine Campus Compact as their Program Director. In this role, she worked with campuses throughout Maine in promoting community- and civic-engaged teaching and learning, with a special focus on expanding democractic engagement on Maine campuses. She has collaborated with League chapters all over Maine in this endeavor. There were countless times when a campus approached Meg in need of a last minute student voter registration drive, or in need of League candidate guides, and she was able to call upon the League’s robust network of volunteers to help spearhead such efforts. Truly, she is in awe of the dedication and perseverance of the League’s volunteers.
Meg currently serves as the Maine Director of the Campus Election Engagement Project, as well as the Director of the Maine Students Vote initiative. The objective of both efforts is to expand Maine's youth democratic participation, close the youth vote gap, and instill a lifetime commitment to civic engagement in Maine’s youth. She continues to work collaboratively with the LWVME as they have become a valued partner for both initiatives.
As a member of the League she is committed to increasing voter participation and turnout, and being part of an organization that strives to reach marginalized, underrepresented voters.