Maine: Eliminate Foreign Influence in Elections
Campaign Status: Active
LD1610 / IB 1 “An Act To Prohibit Campaign Spending by Foreign Governments and Promote an Anticorruption Amendment to the United States Constitution” would eliminate foreign influence in Maine elections by instituting new restrictions on foreign governments from spending in Maine elections.
Currently a loophole in Maine election law allows foreign entities to engage in PAC spending on ballot questions. In 2021, a Canadian-owned pipeline funneled $22 million into a ballot question – more than doubling the previous record for referendum spending – brought by Maine voters to oppose an unpopular pipeline. Even though they were defeated at the ballot, foreign government interference in elections threatens democracy and national security.
UPDATE: After hearing from thousands of voters in support of the measure, the 131st Legislature enacted the bill with broad bipartisan support on July 6, 2023. However, despite broad bipartisan support in the legislature and near universal support among voters, the Governor vetoed LD 1610 and the Legislature failed to override the veto.
The bill will now be put to the voters of Maine to decide in the November 2023 election. The question on the November 2023 ballot will read, “Do you want to ban foreign governments and entities that they own, control, or influence from making campaign contributions or financing communications for or against candidates or ballot questions?”
RepresentUs is working with Protect Maine Elections, a coalition that includes partners like the League of Women Voters Maine, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, Stand with Maine, and Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, to ensure foreign governments are limited in their ability to influence campaigns and elections.
You can make an impact on this campaign no matter where you live.
The Latest On This Campaign
Foreign electioneering ban goes to ballot after lawmakers uphold Janet Mills’ vetoes
Jul 25 2023
Sen. Rick Bennett, R-Oxford, chair of Protect Maine Elections, criticized the governor’s action earlier this month by saying the opponents of the ban are “are few, foreign, and financially unfettered.”Read More
Bipartisan Bill To Protect Maine Elections From Foreign Influence Moves Forward After State Supreme Court Review
Jun 12 2023
Recent polling on this bill to prohibit foreign contributions in Maine election finds near-universal approval from Maine voters.Read More
Opinion: Maine business should join effort to end foreign interference in our elections
Apr 21 2022
But when it comes to local politics, we think it’s important to leave issues impacting Mainers to Maine residents and voters themselves.Read More