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Maine lawmakers are once more contemplating laws to require registered voters to indicate an ID to forged a poll. It is a resolution in quest of an issue.
Backers of the invoice, LD 34, say that such a requirement may make elections safer. But, voter fraud is extraordinarily uncommon, and there’s little proof that requiring a photograph ID to vote deters fraud. In Maine, voters should present identification and proof of residency to register to vote.
Georgia carried out a voter identification requirement in 2008. In 2012, the Atlanta Journal-Structure wrote that neither claims that the brand new regulation would stop fraud nor that it might suppress voter turnout, particularly amongst folks of shade, turned out to be true. Election officers say they haven’t discovered any circumstances of voter fraud that had been thwarted by the brand new ID requirement. Nor was there a discount in voter participation, significantly amongst Black and Hispanic voters, after the brand new regulation, the newspaper’s evaluation discovered.
Given such outcomes, payments like LD 34 don’t actually appear to be about election safety. They’re about making voting seem more durable for sure teams. Think about the language from LD 34. These are the types of picture ID that might be acceptable if the invoice turns into regulation: a legitimate driver’s license or nondriver identification card issued by the state; a United States passport; army identification; or a allow to hold a hid handgun. The invoice particularly excludes identification playing cards issued by a university or college in Maine.
This follows years of efforts by Republicans to attempt to make it more durable for faculty college students to vote, whereas additionally in search of to scare college students away from voting with false data and veiled threats. They falsely claimed that college students had been being illegally bused to polling locations and that many had voted fraudulently. Even after investigations discovered these claims to be unfaithful, they sought to intimidate college-aged voters. In 2011, the Republican Secretary of State despatched a letter to 200 college college students saying they wanted to register their automobiles in Maine with the intention to vote. They don’t. Fliers had been left on college students’ automobiles at Bates School in 2106 making comparable claims after which Gov. Paul LePage warned the state would “do every part we are able to that’s allowed below state and federal regulation to confirm school college students who voted listed below are following Maine regulation.” A Republican legislative chief launched laws to require that school college students – however solely school college students – register a car in Maine or pay private earnings taxes within the state with the intention to be eligible to vote within the state.
Underneath present Maine regulation, school college students can record their dormitory, condo or different housing as their residence for the aim of voting. The Maine Supreme Judicial Courtroom has backed this normal.
Why would Republicans wish to discourage younger folks from voting? In all probability as a result of they typically assist extra liberal candidates and concepts.
So, here’s a not-so-radical thought for Republicans (which we first voiced in 2017): As an alternative of attempting to limit the voting rights of faculty college students, Republicans may attempt to truly win their votes. They may undertake an agenda and recruit candidates that enchantment to younger voters.
Chase Empsall, the secretary for the College of Maine School Republicans and president of UMaine’s Younger Individuals for Liberty, lately recommended that the Republican Celebration lead on local weather change and clear power to seize a bigger share of younger voters.
“In gentle of the 2022 midterms, we all know the significance of younger voters,” he wrote in a Dec. 22 letter to the editor. “A wise wager could be for the Republican Celebration to play offense on local weather change and promote options of our personal.”
Main on vital points could be much better than attempting to make it more durable for folks, particularly younger folks, to vote.