The City Council has also approved the appointment of three members to serve on the Charter Commission. The remaining nine positions will be filled by Portland voters in a special election on June 8th. There are five district positions and four at-large positions that represent the whole city. We will use ranked choice voting to elect the commissioners.
You can learn more about the candidates at Vote411.org.
You may now request your absentee ballot for the special election. You can find your polling place or request an absentee ballot at portlandmaine.gov/325/Elections-Voting
What is the Charter Commission?
The charter is like the constitution for the city. It is the guiding document that assigns duties and responsibilities to local officials to manage local affairs and the role of the residents. The charter governs the role of the mayor, city council, and school board; how officials are elected or appointed; aspects of the city budget; and the process for citizen initiatives.
The Maine State legislature had to approve any changes to the charter until the passage of Home Rule as an amendment to the State Constitution in 1970.
Since Home Rule went into effect, the charter can be revised locally on issues not prohibited by the State Constitution. Once members are elected, the Charter Commission will hold meetings and public hearings to consider changes to the charter. The Commission’s final recommendations for changes will be put before the voters of Portland in a future election.
Recommended revisions to the Charter must be approved by a majority of voters.
Residents of Portland can influence the process by:
- Vetting candidates for the commission before signing a candidate’s signature sheet.
- Attending a public candidate forum or debate.
- Voting For candidates whose platforms reflect the changes you want to see.
- Attending a public hearing during the Commission’s work.
- Submitting testimony to the Commission on issues that you care about.
NEWS:Portland prepares for June election complicated by pandemic, ranked-choice voting
"City Clerk Katherine Jones says people can request absentee ballots now, including through a new online portal, but the ballots will not be available until May 11.
"Portland voters will soon begin casting ballots to decide the fate of the school budget and elect nine charter commission members who could recommend big changes to the structure of city government."
Portland Charter Commission candidates disclose fundraising totals
"The 23 candidates seeking nine seats on Portland’s new charter commission were required to report campaign fundraising and spending activity last week.
"Fundraising efforts vary widely, with a handful of candidates raising thousands of dollars apiece and others reporting no fundraising at all. Some candidates failed to file reports before the deadline.
"Candidates reported spending their money on lawn signs, campaign literature and Facebook ads, among with things."