Maine: Bill would audit election results as a way to promote voter confidence | Scott Thistle/Portland Press Herald
A bill that would see Maine join 34 other states in conducting post-election audits won support Monday before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, even though there has been no evidence that Maine election results are inaccurate. “At its heart, this bill is about promoting ongoing election integrity and public confidence in our elections,” Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said in testimony supporting the legislation. “It’s not about what we’re not doing. Maine elections are well run. It’s about what we can do in the future to prevent problems before they occur.” The bill, sponsored by Rep. Nicole Grohoski, D-Ellsworth, follows a 2020 election cycle in the United States that saw baseless claims of election malfeasance by former President Donald Trump. The election also saw record voter turnout in Maine and a record number of Mainers use the state’s absentee voter system to cast their ballots during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grohoski said her bill would create a system of checks and balances to build on Maine’s already strong election system, which is largely managed by town and city clerks, the state’s front-line election officials. “Public confidence in our elections is of the utmost importance and must be earned, not taken for granted,” she said.