September 24, 2018
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Maine mayor renews push to give local voting rights to noncitizens

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling delivers his third State of the City address in City Hall in January 2018.
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland’s mayor and a city councilor are renewing a push to allow some noncitizens to vote in local elections.

The proposal would allow adult noncitizens who are legally present in the U.S., including asylum seekers and refugees, to vote in municipal elections such as local referendums. The Portland Press Herald reports noncitizens are allowed to vote in a handful of U.S. cities.

Democratic Mayor Ethan Strimling says the timing is right to place the initiative on the ballot this November, adding that City Councilor Pious Ali is leading the effort.

The proposal faces multiple hurdles, as it would require a citywide vote and approval from city councilors to make a vote.

A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Paul LePage argues the proposal could be a violation of state law.

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