Maine House Rejects Discriminatory Voter ID Bill

LD 121 Would Make it Harder for Qualified Mainers to Vote

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
April 25, 2017 12:30 pm

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Augusta – The Maine House of Representatives today voted down a discriminatory voter ID bill that would make it harder for many Mainers to cast a ballot, by a vote of 76 to 67. Over 100 Mainers attended a public hearing on LD 121 in February to urge legislators to reject the bill.

LD 121 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 quote can be attributed to Oamshri Amarasingham, advocacy director of the ACLU of Maine:

“Today the Maine House voted to protect the most fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution – the right to vote. Voting is the cornerstone of democracy, protected by more constitutional amendments than any other right. Laws that are designed to obstruct that vote for some people amount to illegal and unconstitutional voter suppression.

Today’s vote against LD 121 recognizes that the best way protect the integrity of elections is to encourage more qualified people to vote, not to make it harder for them to do so.”

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