Consensus meetings are starting soon on the League's Voting Age Study. But what is a League study? And how do you even feel about lowering the voting age to 16? Now is the time to dive into the Voting Age Study as we prepare as an organization to develop our position on lowering the voting age.
Here are your weekly updates 👇
Despite the school break last week, it was still a "hair on fire" kind of chaos in Augusta. Legislators are swamped with work and pressed for time, but laissez les bons temps roulés. Here's what we're watching this week.
Public hearing in the Judiciary // Monday, April 24 // 9:00 AM
- 🌟 New! LD 1412 — Equal Rights Amendment: This bill would bring the ERA to Maine. We support this one, as we have for years. The federal ERA first passed in the 1970s by the U.S. Congress, but it was not ratified. The late Anne Schink wrote in her testimony in 2022, "[I] look back on my life with a certain amount of sadness to realize that the very first time I testified on the Equal Rights Amendment was fifty years ago. That’s a long time to wait for an Equal Rights Amendment to become part of our state and federal constitutions."
Public hearing in the VLA // Wed, April 26 // 9:00 AM
- 🌟 New! LD 1690 — Ongoing Absentee Voting: This bill would establish ongoing absentee voting, where a voter can sign up to be automatically sent an absentee ballot for eligible elections, for all Mainers. We support this one. An ongoing absentee mailing list will increase access to the ballot, especially for voters in rural areas, voters with disabilities, and others who struggle to access polling places. It will also increase participation in local and special elections. Take action now by contacting your legislators and urge them to support LD 1690.
Also worth noting:
- Several bad bills have been introduced that are anti-Clean Elections (LD 1698, to name one). For over 25 years, the League has fought for and defended public campaign finance. The Maine Clean Election Act allows anyone with enough community support to run for office, regardless of economic background or access to wealth. That's worth protecting. We'll testify in opposition on any bills that aim to strip the Clean Elections program.
Voting Age Study
Read our research. Join the discussions.
The League has started the study process so that we can develop a consensus on lowering the voting age to 16. Together as an organization, we'll decide what position to take: do we support or oppose lowering the voting age? The study guide is now available, and it offers a deep dive into the issue, presenting both sides of the argument in an unbiased, nonpartisan manner. Read the study here.
We recently hosted a Voting Age Study Information Session and presented the issues that come from all perspectives. You can also watch and learn about how you can be involved in the consensus process. Consensus meetings are starting this week, so now is the time to read the study and join the discussion!
Follow along with updates, see the FAQ, and learn more about the study at: lwvme.org/VotingAgeStudyl