State Auditor Matt Dunlap (right) chats with Secretary of State Shenna Bellows after her election to the post at the Augusta Civic Center on Dec. 2, 2020. At far left is Attorney General Aaron Frey. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

A legislative committee supports popular elections for attorney general, treasurer and secretary, positions that are currently elected by the Legislature.

Sen. Joe Baldacci, D-Bangor, called the change “long overdue.” The vote was 7-3 in the State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday, the Portland Press Herald reported.

The change would require an amendment of the Maine Constitution, necessitating a two-thirds majority in each legislative chamber and a majority approval by voters on a statewide ballot.

Maine is among a handful of states that do not hold statewide general elections for so-called constitutional officers.

The positions are chosen by the Maine Legislature, and they typically are filled by the party in power.

Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage called for a similar change in 2015, when he was involved in a political dispute with then-Attorney General Janet Mills.

There have been 103 failed attempts over the years to change how the state’s constitutional officers are elected, according to the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library.