The Portland City Council will hold a public hearing next month on a proposal to allow some non-citizens to vote in local elections.

The proposal would require an amendment to the City Charter, which is possible only through a citywide vote. The issue appeared on the agenda for the first time Monday, when the council set a public hearing for Aug. 13. At that time, the council could vote to put the question to voters.

Mayor Ethan Strimling and City Councilor Pious Ali are pushing to allow adult non-citizens who are legally present in the U.S., including asylum seekers and refugees, to vote in municipal elections such as local referendums including school budgets and races for school board and City Council. Undocumented immigrants would not be allowed to vote.

Non-citizens can vote in a handful of U.S. cities, but the idea has been rejected before in Portland and statewide.

– Megan Doyle

Augusta and Waterville news

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