Maine Senate Democrats reject efforts to undermine voting rights

AUGUSTA — Maine Senate Democrats overwhelmingly rejected a series of proposals that would make it harder for Maine citizens to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday. Similar legislation has been introduced by Republican State lawmakers in state legislatures across the country in response to the election of President Joe Biden.
“There is a reason that Maine regularly leads the nation in voter turnout. It’s because Maine people care deeply about the future of this state and they know that our election system works,” said President Jackson. “As state lawmakers, we should be doing everything we can to make sure Maine people are able to participate in our elections and make their voices heard. Efforts to drag national politics into Maine and make it harder for Maine people to vote do a disservice to the very people we are elected to represent. I may not always like the outcome of an election but I know that whether or not my candidate won, the end result reflects the will of the people.”
The proposals LD 253, 557 and LD 1083 explore ways to require Mainers to produce a photo ID in order to exercise their constitutional right to vote. For Mainers without photo identification, this additional barrier would effectively suppress their right to vote.
“Today the Maine Senate rejected legislation that would undermine access to the ballot box for Maine seniors and Mainers living with disabilities,” said Sen. Louie Luchini, D-Ellsworth. “The strength of our democracy depends on Maine people being able to vote without jumping through hoops.”
Maine routinely ranks above the national average in voter turnout due to our engaged and civic-minded electorate. At the same time, cases of voter fraud in Maine have been extremely rare. In the last election, one individual submitted a roommate’s ballot in response to a personal dispute. The incident was immediately detected by the town clerk and reported to the Attorney General, who then held the individual accountable for her egregious actions.
Opponents of the proposals include the Secretary of State, AARP Maine, Maine ACLU, Equality Maine, and the Attorney General.

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