While other states are passing bills to restrict voting access, Maine is expanding access to voting.
“Voting is the cornerstone of democracy,” Zachary Heiden, Chief Counsel at ACLU of Maine, said. “This year, at least 17 states have rolled back voting rights, and the Supreme Court continues to undermine the federal Voting Rights Act. It is more important than ever for Maine to protect voting rights and expand access to the ballot.”
The state passed a measure that will allow residents to register to vote online — school-issued photo identification cards can be used during this process, as well as utility bills, bank statements, and other government documents showing an appropriate address.
Democrats in the state passed this measure over the objection of Republicans.
However, Democrats and some Republicans were able to reach common ground on other issues, such as banning direct contributions from businesses or labor unions to candidates, and a still-pending bill to create semi-open primaries in Maine.
“I was glad that, with what we are seeing across the country with measures to restrict access to voting, here in Maine we actually took steps to increase access,” Senator Louis Luchini said.
“We heard from Maine voters and local election officials that many of the changes enacted in 2020 to protect health, safety, and access to the ballot were beneficial, and we’re excited to continue them in future elections,” Secretary of State Shenna Bellows said. “Maine has a long history of leading the way on conducting free and fair elections with robust participation, and LD 1363 keeps us on that path.”