AUGUSTA – Review
of a 2009 Maine Legislative proposal that would have enabled Maine cities and
towns to allow non-citizens to register and vote in local elections shows that
one sponsor of that proposal is still serving in the Maine Legislature.
Jackson, who was serving his first term in the Maine Senate in the 124th
Maine Legislature sponsored the original bill. Jackson now serves as the
President of the Maine Senate, overseeing a Democratic majority in that body.
A copy of
the first page of the original proposal, L.D. 1195 “An Act To Allow Noncitizen Residents To Vote in Municipal Elections” obtained
from the Maine Law Library shows Senator Troy Jackson of Aroostook as one of the
bill’s original thirteen sponsors.
notable lawmakers among the sponsors include Rep. Henry Beck of Waterville who was
recently elected by the Legislature to serve as the State Treasurer, and Rep.
Diane Russell, who ran for Governor in the 2018 Democratic primary.
Senator Jackson did join an overwhelming majority of Senators to vote against the bill when it came before them for a roll call vote, but not before a large number of Mainers had weighed in to the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee in opposition to the bill.
The issue has returned to the forefront of Maine politics as the city of Portland considers allowing non-citizens to vote in their elections, and a proposed amendment to the Maine Constitution to forbid non-citizen voting is under consideration.