Action Under the Dome for Monday, Sept 20

Monday, September 20, 2021
Jen Lancaster

This week, we're kicking off the first session in our series Understanding Dawnland Today: The Wabanaki in the State of Maine. Presented by the League of Women Voters of Maine, the series will promote a better understanding of the past and present of the Wabanaki indigenous people. The four-part series will dive into difficult truths about the colonization of Maine and how understanding Dawnland today can help us become better allies of the Wabanaki tribes. See the full schedule.



Redistricting Maps Are Arriving and Lack Detail: The Apportionment Commission released drafts of maps last week. They were a little insufficient. This was our statement released on Friday, September 17: "The League of Women Voters of Maine is very disappointed to see that the State Senate maps from both parties released yesterday lack the information and detail necessary to allow the public to sufficiently weigh in. Voters in municipalities that are proposed to be split such as Portland and Scarborough are unable to determine which district they are proposed to be in." You can see the maps for yourself on the Commission’s website here.

Shapefiles, which provide additional details and make the maps easier to read and critique, are available on request for the Democratic Senate proposal. We obtained them and posted them online here. More details have not been released for the Republican Senate proposal, nor for the unified County Commissioner proposal or the competing Congressional district maps. Proposals have not yet been released for Maine State House Districts. Learn more about how redistricting works in Maine.

Maine's Apportionment Commission will be holding a public hearing on proposed U.S. Congress, State Senate, and County Commissioner maps today, September 20 at 9:30 AM. The YouTube livestream is here. The Commission's deadline to submit proposed maps to the Legislature is September 27. That’s next week.



Freedom to Vote Act: Throughout 2021, we've campaigned to pass the For the People Act, which passed in the U.S. House, but has struggled to clear hurdles in the U.S. Senate. In order to #FinishTheJob and pass necessary voter reform this year, Senators, including Sen. Angus King, released new compromise bill language in hopes of garnering bipartisan support. The new bill, the Freedom to Vote Act, will fix a number of inequitable voter laws and expand ballot access for all Americans. The League of Women Voters has released a statement in support of the bill. Using our handy form, you can send a quick email thanking Sen. King for co-sponsoring the bill and asking Sen. Collins to also support this important legislation.