Maine is back down to three political parties – Republican, Democratic and Green Independent – after the Libertarian Party failed to register enough members to retain an official status.

The Maine Secretary of State’s Office said that only 6,168 voters were enrolled in the Libertarian Party of Maine on Election Day last month. In order to maintain their status as an official party, at least 10,000 enrolled Libertarians would have had to cast ballots in last month’s elections.

As a result, all voters who registered as Libertarians will now be re-classified as “unenrolled,” which is often referred to as “independent” in Maine.

The Libertarian Party officially qualified for party status in July 2016 after enrolling more than 5,000 members. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s office said Monday that the party plans to seek official status again, which would require at least 5,000 enrollees by Jan. 2, 2020. If they do, at least 10,000 enrolled party members would have to vote in the following election.

“A voter may enroll in the Libertarian Party by completing a new Maine Voter Registration Application,” Dunlap’s office said in a statement. “The voter must check the box next to ‘other qualifying party’ and write in ‘Libertarian’ or ‘Libertarian Party.’ The Libertarian Party will not be pre-printed on the Maine Voter Registration Application unless it becomes a qualified party. Once a voter has enrolled in the Libertarian Party, the voter must remain in the party for three months before the voter can file an application for either a withdrawal or change in enrollment.”

There were Libertarian candidates on the ballot in Maine’s gubernatorial or congressional elections last month.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 791-6312 or at:

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