A bill proposing a constitutional amendment to allow an enhanced early-voting system in Maine fell short Wednesday in the House of Representatives. Lawmakers voted 87-57 in favor of the bill, but that was several votes shy of the two-thirds needed to send the issue to voters, who have final approval of changes to the Maine Constitution. No Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Four Republicans and three Democrats did not vote.
The bill, L.D. 156, sponsored by Rep. Michael Shaw, D-Standish, would change the Maine Constitution to give cities and towns the option of allowing in-person voting before Election Day. It does not specify how long before Election Day voting could be allowed.
The same bill received majority votes in the House and Senate last year, but fell short of two-thirds in both chambers. Democrats, who hold the majority in the Legislature, held the bill and brought it back for the current session.