Voter ID discussion back before Legislature

A controversial bill that would require voters to present valid photo identification before casting their ballot will come back before lawmakers on Wednesday, Jan. 25

LD 199, sponsored by Rep. Richard Cebra, R-Naples, was carried over from the Legislature’s first session last year.

That bill and another bill, LD 1376, that sought to eliminate Election Day voter registration generated significant debate during the previous session. The voter ID legislation was carried over after the House passed the bill but the Senate rejected it.

Lawmakers did pass the law that eliminated same-day registration, but five months later, after a successful people’s veto initiative, Maine voters overturned that new law by a 60-40 vote.

Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers has spoken in favor of the voter ID bill, as have many Republican leaders in the House and Senate. Democrats have not been supportive.

The issue has been debated in many other states over the last year and some states have adopted new laws.

The work session on LD 199 later this month will take place before the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee.