Elections & Voting Testimony

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KEY:

= top priority bill

2023 TESTIMONY

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Provide Postage Prepaid Return Envelopes to Voters Who Send Absentee Ballots by Mail

Summary: This bill would require the Secretary of State to provide prepaid postage on the return envelopes for absentee ballots for U.S. mailings only, not overseas. We appreciate the public spirit of this bill, but we’re researching some logistical complexities.

Our position: Neither For Nor Against

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Require a Person to Show Photographic Identification for the Purpose of Voting

Summary: This bill would require voters to show photo ID at the polls on Election Day. The League always opposes these bills. They disproportionately disenfranchise BIPOC, elderly, disabled, and poor voters.

Our position: Oppose

 

 

Featured News:

Debate over voter ID returns to Augusta | Feb. 6, 2023

Maine Public | Kevin Miller

This bill was staunchly opposed by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows as well as the ACLU of Maine, Disability Rights Maine, the Maine Women’s Lobby, the Maine Transgender Network, Maine Conservation Voters and the League of Women Voters of Maine. | Read more here.

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Ensure Efficiency in Petitions Reviewed by the Secretary of State by Clarifying Deadlines Related to Those Petitions

Summary: This bill would require the Secretary of State to determine the validity of certain petitions within 30 business days from the deadline submission, rather than from the drop-off.

Our position: Neither For Nor Against

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Require a Registered Voter to Update the Registration

Summary: This bill would require voters to renew their voter registration every four years. We have some new measures in place (Automatic Voter Registration and membership in ERIC, the national voter registration database) that are much better solutions for keeping the voter rolls current.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee. RIP.

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Prevent a Conflict of Interest in State Elections by Requiring the Secretary of State to Resign Before Running for Elected Office

Summary: Requires the Secretary of State to resign if running for office

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Increase Availability of Election Information on Local Government Websites

Summary: Not every town has a website, and some towns that do have websites fail to post timely or accurate info ahead of an election. This bill would beef up the website infrastructure for municipalities and counties and would be hosted through the Secretary of State's website.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House: Dies

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Eliminate the Limits on Candidates' Speech at the Polls

Summary: Removes the restrictions on candidates' speech while engaging with voters at a voting place. As it stands now, candidates can talk to voters at a polling place, but they can't use any language that may try to sway the voter or ask for their vote. However, this bill would upset the balance between First Amendment rights and voter intimidation.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act Regarding the Residence of Incarcerated Persons for Voting Purposes

Summary: Bill allows incarcerated voters to register in the municipality they are incarcerated in, if the voter has been incarcerated in that municipality for at least 6 months.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House: Dies

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Authorize State Political Parties to Opt Out of Ranked-choice Voting for Primary Elections. From a practical standpoint, it’s better for voters and for election officials that primary elections be conducted on a consistent basis year after year.

Summary: Primary Ranked Choice Voting Opt-out for parties, if made by a vote at party convention and incorporated into the party rules.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee. RIP.

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Assist Clerks in Facilitating Elections and to Improve Access to In-person Absentee Voting for Working People by Increasing Time for Absentee Ballot Processing and In-person Voting

Summary: This bill would improve the accessibility of in-person absentee voting. It would expand Clerk's office hours to include Saturdays and Sundays for town populations 7,000+ and increase the absentee ballot processing time from 7-14 days, so that Clerks have more time to facilitate elections. We plan to testify in support – with some suggestions.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Allow Clerks to Issue Absentee Ballots After the 3rd Business Day Before Election Day to Voters Who Have a Nonphysical Disability and Voters Who Support a Person with a Disability

Summary: Bill expands absentee ballots after the 3rd business day before election day to voters who have non physical disabilities and people who support people with any disability.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Specify the Qualifications of Electors

Summary: Constitutional Amendment to allow only U.S. citizens the right to vote in state, county, municipal or other local elections.

Our position: Neither For Nor Against

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Reinstate Plurality Voting by Repealing the Ranked-choice Voting Laws

Summary: Bad bill alert! If enacted, it would repeal RCV. We oppose this bill. The bill received a flood of testimony in advance of the public hearing, and we're crossing our fingers that it dies during the work session.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee. RIP.

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Prohibit the Use of Ballot Drop Boxes

Summary: This unnecessary restriction would prevent people from returning their absentee ballots via a drop box. Drop boxes are secure and convenient and have been enormously popular with Maine voters.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Provide Postage Prepaid Return Envelopes to Voters Who Send Absentee Ballots by Mail

Summary: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Create Consistent Election Dates for Citizen-initiated Referenda in Even-numbered Election Years

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Make General Election Day a State Holiday and to Allow Certain Employees an Opportunity to Vote

Summary: Designates a State Election Day Holiday and requires employers allow 3 consecutive hours off to vote, if normal scheduled hours don't allow that, than paid time off to allow 3 hours to vote Also requiresemplouers to post 3 weeks before.an election.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Improve the Security of Voting Places

Summary: Restricts dangerous weapons at polling places, except for on duty police and weapons in motor vehicles.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Improve the State's Election Laws by Amending the Laws Relating to Automatic Voter Registration

Summary: Amends "incoming voting list" law to remove requirement to be printed, changes dealing for source agency voter registration applications to 7 days, effective 1/11/2023.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House: Dies

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Improve the Local Referendum Process by Increasing the Percentage of the Population Required to Submit a Local Referendum Question

Summary: Increases the needed signatures for a municipal written petition from 10% to 25% of votes cast for last governor election for that municipality.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Require Photograph Identification for Voting

Summary: Bill requires photo ID if voting in person on election day or by absentee ballot. Student ID is not acceptable. SOS must provide free voter ID.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Carried over

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine Establishing That All Maine Residents Have Equal Rights Under the Law

Summary: Constitutional amendment to prohibit the denial of equal rights based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, physical or mental disability, ancestry or national origin of an individual.

Our position: Supports

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Increase the Percentage of the Population Required to Submit a State Referendum Question

Summary: Constitutional amendment to increase needed signatures for direct initiatives and people's veto from 10% to 25% of votes cast for last governor election.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Strengthen Maine's Elections by Requiring Video Monitoring of Drop Boxes and Amending the Laws Regarding Voter Rolls and Absentee Voting Envelopes

Summary:Provides for: 1) Registrar to cancel a voter's registration if determined voter moved from the municipality, 2) cancel a voter's registration if determined the voter is deceased, 3) Prohibits any party designation on outside return EPS of absentee ballots, 4) Requires periodic monitoring and recorded camera surveillance of drop boxes during absentee voting period and retention of tapes for 1 year.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Provide Consistency of Process for Maine's Electoral Votes by Prohibiting Enactment of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

Summary: Prohibits enacting the National Popular Vote as long as Ranked Choice Voting is used in any election in the state.

Our position: Oppose

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

This bill has been carried over into the second half of the session in 2024.

Official Bill Title: An Act to Adopt an Interstate Compact to Elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote

Summary: This bill would add Maine to the NPV Interstate Compact. NPV becomes effective when states representing 270 Electoral College votes sign on to the agreement.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate: Dies

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act to Provide for Voters Expressing Preferences in Ranked-choice Voting

Summary: Amends ranked choice voting law to read "preferences" instead of "votes" for voters' rankings.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act Regarding Ongoing Absentee Voting and Tracking of Absentee Ballots

Summary: This bill would establish ongoing absentee voting, where a voter can sign up to be automatically sent an absentee ballot for eligible elections, for all Mainers. An ongoing absentee mailing list will increase access to the ballot, especially for voters in rural areas, voters with disabilities, and others who struggle to access polling places. It will also increase participation in local and special elections.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act Regarding Incarcerated Individuals and Legislative Apportionment

Summary: Prison gerrymandering is the practice of counting incarcerated individuals as part of the district where they're detained — and not by their home address, which is where they lived before and where they vote. This distorts legislative apportionment, beefing up the numbers in the prison district, and under-representing their home community. Redistricting (or apportionment) occurs after the Census count takes place every 10 years. For Census purposes, people are counted where they reside on Census Day, but this doesn’t work for redistricting, resulting in what some people call prison gerrymandering — it leads to false representations of district size. This bill puts an end to that. Districts should represent the actual communities that people call home.

Our position: Support

 

Status:

Public hearing in Committee

Work session in Committee: Killed in Committee

Last Action in House

Last Action in Senate

Last Governor Action

Signed into Law

 

Official Bill Title: An Act Regarding Gubernatorial Primary Elections

Summary: This bill would alter primary elections for governor to be nonpartisan and require top-two Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), where the top two candidates with the most votes advance to the general election. We had reservations. All of us would love to avoid the spoiler effect, but we testified that we think there’s a better way.

Our position: Oppose