Two of Lewiston-Auburn’s representatives in the Legislature, Democrats Brian Bolduc of Auburn and Dick Wagner of Lewiston, cosponsored LD 1195 — a bill presented by Democratic Sen. Justin Alfond of Portland. The legislation sought to allow local non-citizens to vote in municipal elections. If passed, this would have watered down the influence of voting citizens, and also mocked the efforts of proud new Americans who had earned the right of franchise by obtaining their citizenship.

After a hearing in the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee, it was kept alive by the lone vote of Portland Democratic Rep. Russell in the 12 to 1 ought-not-to-pass decision.
The Senate defeated the measure, 33 to 2. Democratic Sens. Alfond and Joseph Brannigan of Cumberland County were the only supporting votes.

The House voted against it, 131 to 9. Rep. Bolduc continued his lonely support, even while Wagner finally voted against his own bill. All other supporters were Democrats, mainly from around Bangor and Portland.

Ordinary Mainers understand instinctively how this bill would have eroded the integrity of our civic tradition. It’s a shame that a couple of local representatives let weird ideology overcome common sense. If these Democrats seek re-election, the voters of the area should remember the unusual values and fevered thinking which allow them to promote that kind of law.

Dana Coffin, Auburn

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