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Action Under the Dome for Monday, February 8

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Monday, February 8, 2021
Jen Lancaster

Advocacy Week starts today. And we're kicking it off with a bang. Check out the "Take Action" items for today, plus our event at noon with Maine's Secretary of State, Shenna Bellows. Submit an entry to our raffle each day, and you could win a prize at the end of the week! Click here to learn more and to see the full schedule

 

NEWS:

This week's lineup: We plan to testify on several key bills this week in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee (VLA). You can see the full committee schedule here. Our testimony is archived at lwvme.org

  • LD 148 —  An Act To Establish Ongoing Absentee Voting (Support
  • LD 107 —  RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Specify the Qualifications of Electors (Neither for nor against
  • LD 202 —  RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Implement Ranked-choice Voting (Support)

 

More on non-citizens voting: LD 107 proposes to amend the Constitution of Maine to specify that only a person who is a citizen of the United States may vote in a state, county, municipal, or other local election. This is already the law in Maine, but non-citizens voting in municipal elections is not prohibited under the Constitution, and proponents fear that some towns may exert their home-rule authority to grant non-citizens the opportunity to vote in local elections, such as for school board. LD 107 is related to a citizen initiative petition that you may have seen circulating (the sponsor of LD 107 is also the lead proponent of the citizen initiative) that would change one word in Maine statute to emphasize that only U.S. citizens may vote in any election in Maine.

Despite the fact that this is already the law and the change is for emphasis only, the petition effort has secured massive out-of-state funding from a wealthy Wisconsin donor. Petition proponents wanted to bring in petition circulators from other states and filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the requirement that petition circulators be registered voters in Maine. Apparently, the proponents of the citizen initiative did not believe they could garner enough signatures without paying people from out of state to help with their petition drive. The deadline for filing their completed petitions with the Secretary of State is February 26, 2021.