Elections & Voting
For residents to be notified of a Town Meeting or State or Local Election, Public Notices regarding the date, time, and location are posted at least seven days before each Town Meeting or Election.
Notices are posted at the following locations:
- Public Notices Section of this Website
- Washburn Town Office
- Washburn Post Office
Residents may also view upcoming elections scheduled on the community Calendar of Events.
Annual Town Meeting
Members of the Board of Selectmen & School Board Members’ annual election is held on the third Monday in March of each year at the Washburn Civic Center. The polls are open from 9 AM to 8 PM. On Tuesday, 7 PM, the meeting reconvenes at the Washburn District High School, where residents vote on the articles presented in the warrant in an open town meeting.
The State typically holds Elections on the second Tuesday in June and the first Tuesday in November of each year. The Primary Election is held on the second Tuesday of June of each even-numbered year, while the General Election is held on the first Tuesday in November also in each even-numbered year. Referendums may be held at either the June or November election. The polls are open from 8 AM to 8 PM at the Town Office located at 1287 Main Street, Washburn.
- Restrictions on Political Activities on Election Day
- Notes of Procedure – Notice of Warrant
- Political Sign Placement Guidelines
- Poll Watchers’ Notice
An absentee voter is any registered voter who wishes to cast an absentee ballot at an election and who requests an absentee ballot as provided by law. The absentee voter does not need a reason for voting by absentee ballot. (MRSA Title 21-A, Section 1.1, Section 751)
Absentee ballots are made available at the Town Office at least thirty (30) days before an Election. There are 5 ways to request an absentee ballot:
- Registered voters of Washburn may vote absentee in person at the Town Office during the Town Clerk hours: 7 AM to 4 PM on Monday through Thursday; 7 AM to 12 PM on Friday. The office is CLOSED for lunch from 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM. An application is not required if the voter votes in person at the Town Office.
- Residents who are not registered to vote may register to vote during these hours and request an absentee ballot at that time. For more information on how to register to vote, click here.
- Washburn’s registered voters may call the Town Clerk at (207) 455-8485 to request an absentee ballot for themselves only. The Town Clerk will complete the application, and a ballot will be mailed directly to the voter at the mailing address provided.
- Requests for an absentee ballot for an immediate family member must be made at the Town Office, as these requests need to be made in writing on the application provided.
- Registered voters of Washburn may request an absentee ballot by email through the Secretary of State’s website. Click here to request an absentee ballot by email. Once the State-approved form is filled out, the Secretary of State’s office will e-mail the request to the Washburn Town Clerk’s Office for processing, and the voter will receive the ballot in the mail by the United States Postal Service.
- Registered voters of Washburn may fill out and sign an application to request a third party to deliver their ballot to them. The Clerk will give the ballot to the third person named on the application, and that person will deliver the ballot to the voter. When the voter votes, the absentee ballot envelope must be signed by the voter and signed by two witnesses or one “special” witness (i.e., a notary public, a municipal clerk, or clerk of courts).
Due to a new state law, voters can no longer vote by absentee ballot during the three business days before an election, unless the voter signs an application provided by the Secretary of State, stating one of the following reasons for requesting an absentee ballot on that day:
- Unexpected absence from the municipality during the entire time the polls are open on Election Day.
- Unexpected physical disability, incapacity, or illness have resulted in the voter’s inability to leave home, a hospital, or another treatment facility.
- Inability to travel to the polls if the voter is a resident of a coastal island ward or precinct.
The Town Council appoints Election Clerks to assist the Town Clerk with voting activities on Election Day. Members of both major political parties are appointed to ensure balance within the process, and appointments last one full election cycle. Title 21-A Section 503 of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated outlines an Election Clerk’s role and responsibilities.
Running for Office
Board of Selectmen & School Board
Registered voters of Washburn who would like to run for the Board of Selectmen or School Board must stop by the Town Office during regular business hours after nomination papers have become available for the April Municipal Election.
Typically, nomination papers are available by the beginning of January. Check the Public Notices section of this website during December for an exact date. Candidates will have 45 days from the date the papers become available in the Town Clerk’s Office to circulate nomination papers for registered voters to sign, stating that they nominate the candidate for Board of Selectmen or School Board.
The required number of signatures is no less than 25 or more than 75. Once the required number of signatures has been achieved, the candidate must return the nomination papers to the Town Clerk for certification. If the Town Clerk validates the required number of signatures, the candidate’s name will be printed on the Municipal Ballot for the April Election. Any questions regarding this process may be directed to the Town Clerk at (207) 455-8485.
Candidates interested in running for a State Office should visit the State Website of the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections, and Commissions, including a Candidate’s Guide, procedures, and forms.