The sponsor of a bill to require voters to show photographic identification before receiving their ballots said he will continue to solicit support for his bill despite a 7-5 committee vote against it Wednesday afternoon. Sen. Ron Collins, R-Wells, said he sponsored LD 197 because of “finger pointing and accusations” he saw going around during a recount last year in the Senate District 25 election in the Falmouth area. “It kind of hurt the integrity of the voting process in Maine,” said Collins. “It really bothered me. … To maintain the integrity of the voting process, showing a personal identification is not a big burden.”
Maine law requires first-time voters to provide identification and proof of residency to register, but identification is not required to vote thereafter. For Rep. Robert Saucier, D-Presque Isle, that’s enough.
I see no value of adding an ID requirement other than just restricting people from voting,” said Saucier. “It is more of a harassment to voters than anything else.”
The spread of voter ID laws in the U.S. is seen by some at the national level as an attempt by Republicans to push some voter blocs, such as immigrants and young people, out of elections. However, Collins said that wasn’t his intent.