The midterm election is rapidly approaching. On Tuesday, Nov. 8, students are encouraged to vote in the highly anticipated gubernatorial race.
Voting for Orono residents takes place at the New Balance Field House and Memorial Gym. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Those registering in Orono for the first time will need proof of ID (driver’s license, student ID, birth certificate or passport) and proof of residency (any piece of mail that shows an Orono address). If you’re worried you don’t have proof of residency, UMaine’s UVote has suggestions for students.
“Pull up your MaineStreet record — which has your local address — take a screenshot of it and just have it on your phone,” said Lauri Sidelko, an advisor for the nonpartisan voting initiative.
UMaine UVote assists students in voter registration, education and engagement. Working closely with the political science department and Student Life, UMaine UVote hires student voting ambassadors who visit classrooms to inform others where and how to vote.
“Take a buddy to the polls. If you’re involved in student organizations, try to make an event of it. For a lot of people, it’s their first [time] ever voting, so it’s kind of a cool experience,” Sidelko said.
Maine has one of the highest youth voter turnout rates in the nation. In the 2020 presidential election, 61% of those ages 18-29 showed up to vote. Tuft University’s Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement credits this to some of Maine’s laws that encourage youth voter participation, such as registration at schools.
This fall, Maine residents will choose who will lead them in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and other local positions, as well as decide on a governor. The current governor Janet Mills plans to visit campus this coming Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m.
“It’s easy particularly to be a traditional-aged college student and feel like your voice is not heard and doesn’t matter. This is a way to prove that your voice does matter through your vote,” Sidelko said. “There’s no better way to make your mark on what it is you feel and think and change the world than engage in the process and help make the choice of who is going to lead us.”
If you are unable to go to the voting booths on Nov. 8, early voting is available at the Orono Town Hall.
For more information about Orono voting, visit: https://www.orono.org/304/Elections-Voting-Information.
Questions about UMaine UVote can be sent to Lauri Sidelko email@example.com.
Information about candidates, ballot topics and past election data can be at https://libguides.library.umaine.edu/elections.