Action Under the Dome for Monday, April 12

Monday, April 12, 2021
Jen Lancaster



Almost 109 years ago on April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank. That’s fitting because we're hoping to sink a number of bad voter ID bills and bills aimed at gutting Maine's Clean Election program. Keep reading for more information on what's happening this week in the Maine Legislature. 



Can't Stop; Won't Stop: The League has already testified on dozens of bills, and it's starting to feel like a marathon. Here's the lineup for this week, when we'll testify in the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee (VLA) and the State and Local Government Committee (SLG): 

  • LD 231 — Bill allows an unenrolled voter to vote in a primary for one party's primary election, including presidential, without having to enroll in the party. (LD 303 is an identical bill.) VLA Committee. LWVME supports. 
  • LD 859 — Bill allows ranked choice voting in municipal elections. SLG Committee. LWVME supports. 
  • LD 1051 — Bill lowers the voting age to 16 for municipal elections. SLG Committee. LWVME Neither For Nor Against. 
  • LD 1121 — Bill establishes a nonpartisan top-two primary with ranked choice voting. LWVME Neither For Nor Against.
  • LD 1284 - Bill contains various damaging proposal that would wreck the Maine Clean Election Act. VLA Committee. MCCE Action Opposes.

See the full VLA schedule here or the full SLG schedule here

The bad voter ID bills (LDs 25355710831099) and bills attacking Maine's Clean Elections (LDs 9219299811284) will have their work sessions on Wednesday, April 14. We'll keep an eye on these, hoping to quickly deep six all of them.


OVR Tabled for Now: Online voter registration (LD 1126) had its time in the spotlight last week, with a public hearing on Monday (4/5) and a work session on Friday (4/9). The League participated in Democracy Day, a press conference to push the necessity of OVR. We heard from Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, bill sponsor Representative Teresa Pierce, and real Mainers on why it's time to modernize Maine's elections and make OVR a reality. While the League and our work on OVR received lots of good press (not to mention the press covering the bad photo ID bills and the audit bill), the OVR bill itself has not advanced further, with the VLA Committee tabling the discussion at the end of the work session on Friday, April 9. 


The Special Session: The First Regular Session of the Maine State Legislature adjourned sine die Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article IV, Part Third, Section 16, the general effective date for non-emergency laws passed in the First Regular Session of the 130th Legislature is Tuesday, June 29, 2021.

The First Special Session of the 130th Maine State Legislature is expected to commence April 28, 2021.


Save the date for our upcoming biennial Convention: It’s the biggest event on the League calendar, May 14 and 15. Join us as we plan future programs to protect voting rights, advocate for democracy reform, get big money out of politics, and safeguard free and fair elections. This year's Convention will be hosted virtually on Zoom. Learn more and register for Convention here