© 2022 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Supporters Say Bill To Amend Constitution To Prohibit Noncitizen Voting Is Aimed At Local Elections

Maine law bans noncitizens from voting, but a Republican state lawmaker from Winter Harbor says that doesn’t go far enough. State Rep. Billy Bob Faulkingham wants the prohibition added to the state Constitution.

Faulkingham says he’s worried that some municipalities may allow noncitizens to vote in local elections because of the way the current law is written. He says noncitizens should be barred from voting in any election, and that only a constitutional amendment can assure that.

“Noncitizens voting in municipal elections would disenfranchise U.S. citizens voting in those elections by basically displacing their vote,” he says.

At a public hearing Wednesday, several groups testified in opposition to the proposed amendment, including the Maine Municipal Association, which argued that the current law is sufficient.

“I don’t think there is a problem,” says Kate Dufour with the association. “My members don’t think there is a problem, and when we get to the point there is actually a problem, then we would prefer to resolve issues as they arise. And at this point we think the state statue is absolutely clear.”

Journalist Mal Leary spearheads Maine Public's news coverage of politics and government and is based at the State House.