Portland to decide on immigrant voting

Posted Aug. 24, 2010, at 6:24 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Voters in Maine’s largest city will decide in November whether legal immigrants who are not U.S. citizens should be allowed to cast ballots in city elections.

The Portland Press Herald says the City Council voted Monday to put the issue before voters. It was a largely procedural move because successful petitions asking that the question be placed before voters were submitted to the city clerk earlier this month.

Supporters of the proposal say granting immigrants voting rights would allow them to better participate in the city’s civic life.

But opponents say the right to vote should be reserved for those immigrants who make the effort to become citizens.

If approved, immigrants would only be allowed to vote in city elections, not state or federal elections.