AUGUSTA – There
have been a lot of bills in Maine’s current legislative session related to
voting. A number of those bills, including allowing a bill to create automatic
voter registration, have won the support of a strong number of Democrats in the
Maine House of Representatives. Today, however, Democrats voted overwhelmingly against
a bill that would have forbidden non-citizens from voting in all elections in
arises partly from the efforts of Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling pushing to
allow non-citizens to vote in his city. The issue actually goes back years,
with then-Attorney General Janet Mills giving a legislative committee a green
light on a bill to officially allow non-citizen voting in municipal elections,
saying nothing in Maine’s Constitution forbids it.
those concerns, and a strong belief that elected officials should protect the
votes of U.S. Citizens, Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham introduced L.D. 816, which
would ask the people of Maine to vote on an amendment to Maine’s Constitution
to officially forbid non-citizen from voting.
That bill, L.D. 186, was voted on today in the Maine House and failed on a mostly party line vote, 80-52.
Only three Democrats,
Jessica Fay of Raymond, Henry Ingwerson of Arundel and Daniel Hobbs of Wells,
joined Republicans to vote in favor of forbidding non-citizen voting.
The issue has been persistent in the Portland political scene, with Mayor Strimling recently even suggesting that Portland could spur the entire state of Maine to allow non-citizens to vote in the same manner that city has led on other policies where the state followed.