Portland, Maine, rejects noncitizen voting

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 3, 2010; 1:05 AM

PORTLAND, Maine -- Voters in Maine's largest city have rejected a ballot measure that would have allowed legal residents who are not U.S. citizens the right to vote in municipal elections.

The proposal in Portland was defeated Tuesday 52 percent to 48 percent.

Supporters said it was only fair that immigrants who are not yet citizens be allowed to vote because they pay taxes, send their children to public schools and even serve in the military.

The measure would have allowed noncitizens to cast ballots in school board, city council and other local issues, but not on federal or statewide matters.

Critics said allowing noncitizens to vote would cheapen the meaning of citizenship. They said that if immigrants want to vote, they should become citizens.

© 2010 The Associated Press