Democrats in Portland, Maine Approve Voting Rights for Foreign Nationals

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Democrats in Portland, Maine, have advanced a proposal to give foreign nationals the right to vote in municipal elections, likely putting the measure on the ballot for voters.

The Portland Charter Commission, made up primarily of liberal Democrats, voted to support the plan by a 10-2 vote. Pat Washburn, who sits on the commission, told local media that giving voting rights to foreign nationals is “a matter of justice.”

“We have a substantial population of people who live here, who are part of our community, who send their kids to our schools, who rely on city services and don’t have a voice in what the city chooses to do or not do,” Washburn said.

Portland is home to nearly 25,000 foreign-born residents. Now, the plan will be put to Portland voters on an upcoming ballot.

Democrats across the United States have been opting to give voting rights to foreign nationals in state and local elections for years. Two towns in Vermont, for instance, are readying their first local elections where foreign nationals will be voting.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) is currently suing Montpelier and Winooski for allowing foreign nationals to vote, arguing that the policy violates Vermont’s constitution, which reserves voting rights for American citizens.

Even more significant, Democrats on the 51-member New York City Council approved a plan in January that allows more than 800,000 foreign nationals with green cards, visas, and work permits the opportunity to vote in citywide elections so long as they have resided in the city for at least 30 consecutive days.

Black Americans, as well as the New York GOP and some Democrat politicians, are suing New York City, alleging that the policy violates the state’s constitution and discriminates against American citizens by shifting political power toward foreign nationals.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here


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