Making Democracy Work

Positions in Brief

Positions

Internet and Broadband Access

Efficient, high speed access to the Internet for all Maine residents regardless of geographic location or demographics is a necessity for assuring equal access to local and state government; for maintaining openness and transparency in government activities; for communicating with legislative leaders; for engaging in political discourse; for competing in the global marketplace; for providing full and equal access to education, commerce, and civic life; and for assuring that voters receive the information they need to participate in our democracy.

Primary Elections

The League of Women Voters of Maine (LWVME) gives its highest priority to policy principles that protect and expand voter participation and turnout in all elections, including candidate selection systems. The LWVME supports policies that permit broad citizen participation in primary elections while at the same time balancing the interests of major parties, small parties, and independent candidates and permitting political parties to perform their traditional functions. In addition, LWVME values policies that ensure elections are transparent, verifiable, and auditable. The League of Women Voters of Maine believes that primary elections should encourage broad voter participation and that all voters should have the opportunity to participate in the primary election of their choice. More specifically, the LWVME supports:
  • "Semi-open" primaries over the various forms of closed or fully open primaries for candidate selection at all governmental levels.
  • Presidential primaries over presidential caucuses, recognizing that the rules concerning the primaries will be more consistent with League values if they are "semi-open." The League also supports Presidential primaries held on set dates that do not cause a loss of party delegates.

    The LWVME defines a "semi-open" primary as a primary in which unenrolled/unaffiliated voters may vote on one ballot per primary without having to enroll in that particular political party. Voters enrolled in a political party can vote only on the ballot of their party.

  • Government, as opposed to party, funding and administration of federal, state, and county primaries. The LWVME neither supports nor opposes nonpartisan primaries. The LWVME will continue to monitor experience with nonpartisan primaries and re-examine this issue when the results of more empirical studies are available.

Campaign Finance

LWVME supports reform in the financing of state candidate PACs consistent with the LWVUS position on Campaign Finance Reform.

This means that LWVME supports measures to improve the financing of candidate PACs in order to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office, and promote citizen participation in the political process. Applying these principles to PAC reform in Maine provides a basis for sound action in the changing constitutional context as the Supreme Court of the U.S. reshapes the landscape of permissible reform.

Election Systems

The League of Women Voters of Maine supports election systems for elected offices in single seat elections that require the winner to receive a majority of the votes, as long as the majority is achieved by Instant Runoff Voting/Ranked Choice Voting, rather than a second, separate runoff election.

Equality of Opportunity (Civil Marriage) (retired in 2019)

The League of Women Voters of Maine supports equal rights for all under Maine law. LWVME supports legislation to equalize the legal rights and benefits available to same-sex couples with those available to heterosexual couples. LWVME supports legislation to permit same-sex couples to marry. The League believes that the civil status of marriage should be clearly distinguished from the religious institution of marriage and that religious rights should be preserved. LWVME believes that Maine should recognize the civil unions and same-sex marriages of other states.

Environmental Resources (inactive)

Support action to promote sustainable use of natural resources and prevent degradation of natural resources in Maine, especially in the areas of:

 

  • Air Quality
  • Pesticides
  • Water Quality

     

  • Land Use
  • Farmland Preservation
  • Energy

     

  • Nuclear Power
  • Food Irradiation
  • Low-level Radioactive Waste

County Government (inactive)

Support intermediary form of government, such as county government, between municipalities and the state.

Education (inactive)

Strengthen education in Maine, especially in the areas of:
  • Education Finance
  • School Libraries
  • University of Maine System

Health Care in Maine (inactive)

Support a unified state health care program that provides coverage for all residents of the state, including those now insured.

Juvenile Justice (inactive)

Support for a juvenile justice system that has as its primary purposes the prevention of juvenile crime and substance abuse and the prompt response to and rehabilitation of juveniles who have committed crimes.

Transportation (inactive)

Support energy-efficient and environmentally sound transportation systems which improve access to housing and services. Support initiatives which improve rail transportation in Maine.

Regional Quad State Agreement on Transportation (inactive)

The LWV 1998 Quad States Council (including the four state delegations from LWV-ME, NH, VT, RI) support action to encourage participation and cooperation in promoting regional transportation initiatives. The goal is regional planning and implementation of integrated transportation systems throughout New England. Specific objectives include:
  • Construction of the North/South rail link in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Passenger rail links to Canada with improved border crossings
  • Measures to reduce vehicular pollution
  • More energy efficient transportation system
  • Passenger rail service linking all of New England

The League's National Positions

LWVME may also take action at the state level based on positions adopted by our national League. These positions cover a broad range of public policy areas: representative goverment, international relations, natural resources, and social policy. Read more about the Leagues national positions at the LWVUS web site.