Legislature Listens to Voters, Rejects Barrier to Voting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org AUGUSTA – The Maine State Senate today helped to protect voting rights by passing an amended version of LD 199. As originally proposed, the Legislation would have required voters to present a photo ID before casting a ballot during an election. The language of the bill, which would have created unnecessary hurdles to voting, was replaced with a resolve tasking the Secretary of State to study changes to Maine’s election system. “The Legislature has rejected another attempt to make it harder for Mainers to vote,” said Alysia Melnick, Public Policy Counsel for the ACLU of Maine. “Today is a victory for voters and voting rights. It’s clear that the Legislature heard the voice of voters in the fall, when they overwhelmingly rejected an attempt to restrict this fundamental right.” In November, voters rejected an attempt to eliminate same-day voter registration. Requiring voters to present photo ID before participating in elections creates an unacceptable burden for thousands of eligible Maine voters. “Maine’s elections work. They are well-run and efficient,” said Ann Luther of the League of Women Voters of Maine. “While some have been working tighten voter restrictions and undermine voter rights, others have been working to defend Maine’s legacy of strong voter participation. The successful efforts to stop a voter ID requirement and to restore same-day voter registration show that Maine voters are willing and able to defend their rights.” Both photo ID requirements and the elimination of same-day voter registration disproportionately affect low-income voters, older voters, people with disabilities and women, who move often or do not have easy access to state-issued credentials. “By rejecting new restrictions on voting, thousands of people who otherwise would have lost their right to vote can still participate,” said Laura Harper of the Maine Women’s Lobby. Although the amended language of the bill protects voting rights, the study language that was adopted is redundant and unnecessary. The Office of the Secretary of State already has the authority to review election practices and propose changes without additional action by the Legislature. “The ACLU of Maine will remain vigilant and will oppose efforts to rollback voting rights,” Melnick said. “Voting is a cornerstone to our democracy, and we should do everything in our power to ensure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to participate.”

Twitter Follow

Follow us on

Contact Us

ATTORNEY ADVERTISEMENT:  This communication or portions thereof may be considered "advertising" as defined by Section 6157(c) of the California Business and Professions Code or within the jurisdiction in which you are viewing this.  Nothing in the discussion above is intended to be a representation or guarantee about the outcome of any legal proceeding in which you may be involved.  By providing the information above in this format, Michel & Associates is not soliciting you to hire it to handle a specific legal matter you may currently have or be anticipating commencing in the future.  Notwithstanding the discussion above, you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content on this site without seeking appropriate legal advice regarding your particular circumstances from an attorney licensed to practice law.  This communication is informational only and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Michel & Associates.  Michel & Associates's attorneys are licensed to practice in California, Texas, and the District of Columbia.