AUGUSTA — A legislative committee is considering a bill to hold presidential primaries in Maine, where party caucuses have long been the favored method for party faithful to select their White House nominees.

Senate President Kevin Raye told the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee today that his proposal,  LD 1882, would encourage voter participation and make presidential preference selection parallel with direct elections for lower elective offices.

Raye is a Republican who represents Washington County, where Republicans were angered over how February’s caucuses were administered by the Maine GOP. A delay in county caucuses raised questions over whether residents’ votes would count.

A Democratic committee member, Rep. Linda Valentino of Saco, questioned the timing of Raye’s bill so late in the legislative session, given that the next presidential election cycle is four years away.

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