Portland: June 8 Election

In the July 2020 election, Portland voters approved creating a Charter Commission. The commission will review how the city’s government should operate. 

The City Council has also approved the appointment of three members to serve on the Charter Commission. The remaining nine positions will be filled by Portland voters in a special election on June 8th. There are five district positions and four at-large positions that represent the whole city. We will use ranked choice voting to elect the commissioners. 

Portlanders will also vote on the proposed school budget.


You can learn more about the candidates at Vote411.org.

You may now request your absentee ballot for the special election on Tuesday, June 8. You can find your polling place or request an absentee ballot atportlandmaine.gov/325/Elections-Voting

Request your absentee ballot   Find your polling place and candidate info


What is the Charter Commission?

The charter is like the constitution for the city. It is the guiding document that assigns duties and responsibilities to local officials to manage local affairs and the role of the residents. The charter governs the role of the mayor, city council, and school board; how officials are elected or appointed; aspects of the city budget; and the process for citizen initiatives. 

The Maine State legislature had to approve any changes to the charter until the passage of Home Rule as an amendment to the State Constitution in 1970. 

Since Home Rule went into effect, the charter can be revised locally on issues not prohibited by the State Constitution. Once members are elected, the Charter Commission will hold meetings and public hearings to consider changes to the charter. The Commission’s final recommendations for changes will be put before the voters of Portland in a future election. 

Recommended revisions to the Charter must be approved by a majority of voters. 


Residents of Portland can influence the process by:

  • Vetting candidates for the commission before signing a candidate’s signature sheet.
  • Attending a public candidate forum or debate.
  • Voting For candidates whose platforms reflect the changes you want to see.
  • Attending a public hearing during the Commission’s work.
  • Submitting testimony to the Commission on issues that you care about.