Question 2 on the statewide ballot is about who gets to control Maine elections. That is why Maine Citizens for Clean Elections is encouraging Maine voters to join us in voting “yes” on Question 2 to ban foreign governments and entities that they own, control or influence from making campaign contributions or financing communications for or against ballot questions.

The stakes are high. Since 2020, foreign government-owned entities and their affiliates have spent over $100 million in Maine referendum campaigns. In this cycle alone, 83% of election spending has come from foreign government-owned entities. These numbers are appalling. These entities are silencing the voices of Maine voters as they dump money into our elections to serve their special interests.

By way of example, it is unthinkable that we would permit a foreign government or foreign government-owned entity to influence a campaign to loosen fish farm regulations off of Maine’s cherished coastline. However, under current Maine law that would be permitted.

While foreign governments are not permitted to contribute to candidate campaigns, the Federal Elections Commission recently ruled that it has no jurisdiction over state referendum campaigns, creating a dangerous loophole that allows foreign government spending in referendum campaigns unless explicitly prohibited by state law.

A “yes” vote on Question 2 would close that loophole and put elections back in the hands of Maine people – and out of reach from foreign government-owned entities.

Protecting our elections from foreign government interference is not a new or radical idea, and experts agree that it is constitutional. In 1787, John Adams wrote to Thomas Jefferson, “You are apprehensive of foreign Interference, Intrigue, Influence. So am I. – But, as often as Elections happen, the danger of foreign Influence recurs.” And today, a growing number of states and municipalities are taking measures to close the aforementioned loophole; the voters of Portland, Maine passed a similar law last year. Indeed, most foreign governments – including Canada – already ban such spending by foreign entities in their elections. This is a common sense solution to a very real problem.


There is strong support for a “yes” vote on question 2 around the state and across the political spectrum. Public polling released at the end of October showed that 75% of Maine supports this initiative, with just 8% opposed. The Legislature has now passed this initiative twice, with strong bipartisan support.

If you are still on the fence about Question 2, consider that the Maine government isn’t permitted to spend in such elections. We cannot allow foreign governments to do so.

Question 2 also protects the free speech, representation, and votes of all Mainers by affirming Maine’s support for an anti-corruption amendment to the U.S. Constitution and charging the Maine Ethics Commission to report on the progress made by Maine’s delegation in Congress to advance this amendment. Such an amendment would allow states and Congress to set reasonable limits on campaign spending and contributions.

No other state in the country has such a strong tradition of ordinary citizens standing up for our rights as voters and winning reforms that make our elected officials accountable to us. Once again, Maine voters are bringing forward a common-sense solution to the problem of special interest money in our elections and providing an example for the nation of our ability to work together to make our democracy stronger.

Join me, and a majority of Mainers around the state, in voting “yes” on Question 2 on Nov. 7 to protect our elections from foreign government interference.

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