Did you know that foreign governments and entities can legally interfere in our election process? How? They are allowed to spend massive sums of money to promote ballot issues and referenda. Like most Mainers, prior to 2022, you would have assumed that this would violate election laws. That is the response I received last year from most voters in the Bath area while collecting petition signatures for this issue.

Over the years, I have collected signatures on several ballot questions and this initiative was a “no brainer” for most voters to sign. When people heard that there was a loophole which excluded referendum questions from election funding laws, they easily signed. The Federal Elections Commission recently ruled that they have no jurisdiction to prohibit foreign spending in state referendum campaigns. The only solution is to pass a state law banning the practice.

I learned at an early age that we have a responsibility to take an active role in our community, state and democracy. As more and more corporations and foreign entities funnel money into our elections, fewer people feel that we have a viable democracy and a voice in the process. We need to take back our people power – “a government of, by, and for the people” to stand against these entities and their funds.

I am calling on our state Legislature to support this initiative and put a stop to foreign spending in our elections. I am also urging other Mainers to reach out to your representatives. Then, I will urge Gov. Mills to sign it into law. We really do not need another David and Goliath battle with millions of dollars spent by outside entities telling us how to vote in Maine.

Please act soon. Thank you.

Susan Lubner

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