Gov. LePage Introduces Voter ID Bill Identical to One Already Rejected

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
June 1, 2017 3:30 pm

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Augusta – Gov. LePage introduced a Voter ID bill yesterday that is identical to a bill already rejected by the Maine House and Senate this session. LD 1627 mirrors LD 121, which was voted down in April by votes of 76-67 in the House and 24-10 in the Senate. Over 100 Mainers attended a public hearing to urge legislators to reject LD 121.

The governor’s bill would require Mainers to present photo ID at the polls in order to vote. 21 million Americans lack the government-issued photo identification needed under this bill; many of them cannot afford to pay for the documents required to secure one. Voter ID laws disproportionately affect poor people, people in rural communities, people of color and the elderly.

While President Trump, Gov. LePage and other elected officials have made false statements about voter fraud, proponents of such laws have failed to show that voter fraud is an actual problem, either in Maine or nationwide.

The following can be attributed to Oamshri Amarasingham, policy director at the ACLU of Maine:

“By pushing this bill, the governor is ignoring both the facts and the will of the people. He is also wasting the legislature’s time and taxpayer money by putting forward a bill that has already been squarely rejected and that focuses on an imaginary problem. Studies have turned up little to no evidence of voter fraud in Maine. Voting is the cornerstone of democracy, and laws that are designed to obstruct the vote for some people amount to illegal and unconstitutional voter suppression. Our elected officials should be encouraging more people to participate in democracy. Unfortunately, the governor would rather make it harder for people to vote.”

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