Saturday, March 4, 2017

Maine Bills Aimed at Changing Voting Process

Maine Lawmakers in Augusta took up severalBbills Friday that aim to change aspects of the Voting process.

One Bill would require a Photo ID to Vote and another would implement the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact for the Presidential Election.

The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee tabled one bill for next week that supporters say will Protect Voter Integrity in Maine. It would require college Students who list their Residence as a Dormitory to establish Residency by acquiring a State ID, Registering their car in the State, or paying Income or Property Tax to the State in order to cast a Vote. could these be called a Poll Tax?

A controversial Bill which requires all Mainers to provide a Photo ID to Vote had 6 votes both for and against it, but will ultimately require further work by the Committee as one Committee Member was not present and Amendments may be added to the Bill.

“Going to an R-rated movie, buying a pack of cigarettes, buying alcohol – these are things that you are required to present identification because we feel it will be a deterrent to bad behavior. We see this as very much a similar case,” Sen. Garrett Mason, (R) Senate Chair, VLF Committee.

Republicans, such as Rep. Sheldon Hanington of Lincoln, believe the bill will prevent voter fraud while Democrats say it will discourage Mainers from Voting. “I represent 8800 people in my district. I had a 72% turnout and if I was to take a poll with them, in my district, probably 80% would be for this. So not only for my personal reason, but I have to represent my district on this one,” said Rep. Hanington.

“The people that get affected by that are minorities, elderly, poor, disabled, and rural disproportionately. And I’m not saying that’s the intention of anybody, but that’s what the studies have shown,” said Rep. Louis Luchini, (D) House Chair, VLF Committee.

Another Bill brought forward sought to adopt the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact among some States to Elect the President of the United States by National Popular Vote, meaning Maine’s Electoral Votes would go to the Candidate with the most votes in all 50 States.

“Any opportunity that I have to vote to remove the power of something that is the vestige of slavery, I will take that option. And so this is that option and I will be voting to support this bill wholeheartedly,” said Rep. Craig Hickman, (D) Lincoln, Monmouth.

While some Democrats supported the bill, it was ultimately voted ought not to pass.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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