AUGUSTA – The Maine House of Representatives, led by Speaker Sara Gideon, has killed two bills that would allow voters to approve an amendment to Maine’s Constitution that would ensure only United States citizens are allowed to vote in Maine.
The bills, one sponsored by Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (R – Winter Harbor) and the other sponsored by Rep. Nate Wadsworth (R – Hiram) both passed the Maine Senate with broad and sometimes unanimous support, but were crushed on the rocky shore of the House Democratic caucus’ opposition.
Rep. Faulkingham’s proposal, L.D. 186, passed “under the hammer”, or with unanimous support, in the Maine Senate both times it was brought forward. But in the Maine House, Democrats united to oppose it, voting it down 80-52.
After the Maine Senate’s second unanimous vote to support Faulkingham’s proposal, the House voted against a ‘recede and concur’ motion, essentially saying in that vote that they would not reconsider and join the Maine Senate in supporting the bill.
Rep. Wadsworth’s bill, L.D. 1372, fared nearly
as well in the Maine Senate. It passed “under the hammer”, or with unanimous
support the first time it was brought forward in the Senate, but was voted down
by the Democrat majority in the House by a vote of 79-53.
Following the House vote, the Senate voted on Wadsworth’s bill a second time, and only three Senators, Sen. Shenna Bellows (D – Kennebec), Sen. Ben Chipman (D – Portland) and Sen. Heather Sanborn (D – Portland) voted against it.
Despite the massive support in the Senate, when Wadsworth’s bill came back to the House, it faced the same fate, being voted down in an 86-60 vote.
All three members of House Democratic
Leadership, Speaker Sara Gideon, Rep. Matt Moonen and Rep. Ryan Fecteau voted
against both bills in every roll call vote.
Either of the two bills would have forbidden
non-citizens to be allowed to vote in Maine elections. Over the past year, Portland
Mayor Ethan Strimling has pushed a proposal to allow non-citizens to vote in
Portland, and he has held the policy up as an example of something Portlanders
could do that could eventually spread across the state.
Both bills would have put forward a ballot question to the people of Maine to vote on, and approval would have amended the Maine Constitution to forbid non-citizen voting in Maine.
In 2009 as Attorney General, Janet Mills gave the green light to allow a legislative committee to consider a law allowing non-citizen voting. That proposal was sponsored by Senator Justin Alfond (D – Portland) and it went on to be defeated in roll call votes in the Maine House and Senate.
L.D. 186 ROLL CALL VOTES
You can read the first House Roll Call on L.D. 186 by clicking here. (A “Y” vote is for Ought Not To Pass – An “N” vote is in support of the bill)
You can read the second House Roll Call on L.D. 186 by clicking here. (A “Y” vote is in support of concurring with the Senate to pass the bill – An “N” vote is in opposition to the bill)
L.D. 1372 ROLL CALL VOTES
You can read the only Senate Roll Call vote on L.D. 1372 by clicking here. (A “Y” vote is in support of passage of the bill – An “N” vote is in opposition to the bill)
You can read the first House Roll Call vote on L.D. 1372 by clicking here. (A “Y” vote in for Ought Not To Pass – An “N” vote is in support of the bill)
You can read the second House Roll Call vote on L.D. 1372 by clicking here. (A “Y” vote is in support of concurring with the Senate to pass the bill – An “N” vote is in opposition to the bill)