Bill to ban non-citizen voting in Maine to get hearing March 11th

A proposal from Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham (shown right) to amend Maine’s Constitution to ensure non-citizens are not allowed to vote in Maine elections will have a public hearing on Monday, March 11th at 10 am. Photo courtest Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham’s Facebook page.

AUGUSTA – As Portland considers moving forward with a bill to allow non-citizen voting in that city at the urging of Mayor Ethan Strimling, a proposal from Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham of Winter Harbor that would amend Maine’s Constitution to forbid non-citizen voting in Maine elections will have a public hearing next week.

“Already here in Maine in places like Portland, Mayor Ethan Strimling has proposed letting non-citizens vote in our elections. I believe it is a pretty low, and acceptable threshold for voting, that first you are at least a citizen of the United States.” Said Rep. Faulkingham about his proposal when it was introduced.

A statement about the bill released today said, “The bill is a response to recent efforts to allow noncitizens to vote in the City of Portland and other parts of the country.”

But Mayor Strimling has sought to push the issue forward in Portland, citing Portland policies that have eventually gone statewide as he pushes for passage of non-citizen voting in that city.

This is the first step in passage for Rep. Faulkingham’s proposal. After the public hearing, the bill would need to be passed by both the Maine House and Maine Senate before being sent to a referendum to approve the amendment.

The bill, LD 186, will be heard by the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee on Monday, March 11th at 10 am. The hearing is open to the public, and testimony from the public is welcome.

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