Maine Legislature Rejects Bill Targeting College Student Voters

Two Bills To Make it Harder to Vote Are Defeated This Session

Affiliate: ACLU of Maine
May 9, 2017 12:00 pm

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Augusta – A bipartisan majority in the Maine Senate today joined the House in rejecting a bill that would have made it harder for qualified college students to vote in Maine. LD 155 would have required increased scrutiny of voters who list a college dorm as their residence. The U.S. Supreme Court found in Symm v. United States (1979) that dormitory students cannot be treated differently than other residents for voting purposes.

Last month the Legislature rejected LD 121, which would have required Mainers to show photo ID at the polls to vote. Voter ID laws have been shown to disproportionately affect poor people, elderly people, people in rural communities and people of color.

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

“Maine has always been a leader on voter turnout, a fact we should be proud of. By rejecting these two bills, the legislature affirmed Maine’s commitment to protecting voting rights. Participation in the democratic process should be open to every qualified person, not just those who have the resources to secure specific documents and government identification. We applaud the legislature for protecting the right of all qualified people to vote, regardless of where they live or how much money they make.”

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