The League of Women Voters of Maine (LWV), a progressive nonprofit that is aligned with the Maine Democratic Party, targeted homeless people and foreign migrants with Get Out the Vote efforts prior to the 2023 election, according to its December newsletter.
“Extra copies of the translated Ballot Explainer were distributed to the Lewiston Mosque & Trinity Jubilee Center,” the LWV told supporters in its post election report.
The Trinity Jubilee Center provides a soup kitchen and day shelter for homeless people, as well as a “refugee integration program” that serves primarily asylum-seekers from Somalia, Djibouti, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi.
The Lewiston Mosque serves “exclusively” immigrants and people who are not white, according to its website.
“Welcome to our Faith Based Clergy Services Program exclusively serving the immigrant and BIPOC communities in Lewiston and Auburn, Maine,” the site states. “Our program is committed to providing spiritual and emotional support to individuals and families who may face unique challenges as they navigate life in a new country.”
The LWV website lists the legal requirements for voting, which state that voters must be U.S. citizens, and the newsletter acknowledges that LWV staffers encountered many individuals who were not eligible to vote.
Many of the voter guides distributed to the Lewiston Mosque and the Trinity Jubilee Center, the nonprofit said, were translated into a variety of foreign languages.
With few exceptions, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that applicants for citizenship take a test on English comprehension, both written and spoken, so it’s unclear why voter guides would need to be translated into multiple languages.
The LWV has long lobbied against the adoption of a requirement for Maine voters to provide ID prior to voting.
Although the Maine branch of LWV does not publish its list of donors, the national league has a list of liberal organizations as its supporters.
The organization has received millions of dollars from George Soros’ Foundation to Promote an Open Society and the Tides Foundation.
According to the newsletter, the LWV is preparing to target Avesta Housing complexes in the run up to the 2024 election.
“Our partners are excited to expand in 2024, reaching more Avesta properties and adding other housing providers to the planning team, while also branching into Lewiston and Bangor,” LWV said.
“The League runs several programs to ensure that Mainers can vote safely, votes are counted securely, and that the integrity of our elections is protected,” the newsletter concludes.