LD 199: An Act to Strengthen Maine’s Election Laws by Requiring Photograph Identification for the Purpose of Voting, sponsored by Cebra
(came out of VLA 7-6 “ought to pass”; it’s been amended. the amendments are listed at bottom of this email)
-it’s a solution in search of a problem
in 30 years there have only been 2 cases of voter fraud–neither case would have been prevented by this bill
already have to show proof of identity and residency at the time of registration
in Maine many of the city clerks and ballot workers know who comes to vote. (frankly the errors that have occurred have been due to poll clerks checking off the name above or below the desired name)
this is a system that has worked for the last 191 years and it hasn’t required a photo ID
-The “risk” of voter fraud doesn’t warrant increased government intervention with such an outrageously expensive price tag.
In order to avoid constitutional violation of the 24th Amendment, the state would have to issue free photo IDs. Comparably, when implemented in Indiana spent an additional $10 million. In addition to the cost of providing free IDs, there’s also the associated costs for an ongoing voter education campaign and training of city clerks, voter wardens, etc.
it’s an attack on democracy–our most basic right guaranteed in the constitution is at risk.
the Governor purports the virtues of small government and efficiency, yet this bill would place “Big Brother” smack dab in the middle of our basic constitutional right.
-more than just a hassle, it’s disenfranchising–many of whom are on the margins of society: the poor, the elderly, the disabled.
every time you ask the elderly, the poor, or the disabled to take an extra step, it is a stumbling block. Too many stumbling blocks will prevent people from taking that extra step to the voting booth.
placing barriers discouraging Mainers from exercising their right to vote, we are diminishing the importance of democracy
-many questions remain:
what if there’s an administrative discrepancy, e.g. different street address on photo ID than where is registered.
what about absentee ballots–will the person picking up or returning the ballot have to prove their identity? is the signature of the absentee voter “enough” proof of ID?