Democracy Reform Bills Move Closer to Final Passage

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
Mainers for Modern Elections

End of week update on the voting bills in the Maine legislature

[AUGUSTA, ME] — The Maine House and Senate advanced all four of Maine’s democracy reform bills this week, moving the election modernization package closer to final passage. Each bill now moves on to procedural votes in the House and Senate before heading to Gov. Janet Mills for her signature. Together, the bills represent crucial updates to how Maine runs elections, and would make it easier for all eligible Maine voters to cast a ballot.

Here’s a quick rundown of each bill:

  • LD 1126 would establish an online voter registration system. 
  • LD 1575 would ensure that student IDs can be used for proof of identity when registering to vote. 
  • LD 148 would establish a permanent absentee voting list for disabled voters and those over the age of 65, and call for Maine to join Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a non-profit organization that assists states with clean, accurate, up to date voter rolls. 
  • LD 1363 would expand the use of ballot dropboxes across the state. 

For more information, Mainers for Modern Elections put together comprehensive summaries on each proposed law.

"Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. We are so heartened the Maine Legislature has moved forward a package of bills that protect voting rights and make voting more accessible, even as other states have created barriers to voting,” said Meagan Sway, Policy Director, ACLU of Maine. “Maine is taking another step toward ensuring all eligible citizens are able to cast a ballot and participate in their democracy."

“In this moment, when so many states are making it harder to vote, it is refreshing that Maine is continuing to lead the way in ensuring all our eligible voters are able to participate,” said Anna Kellar, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Maine and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. “These bills will increase convenience for voters and security for our election processes, and reduce the barriers to voting for all Mainers.” 

Mainers for Modern Elections is a coalition committed to ensuring that our right to vote safely transcends politics and partisanship. The coalition advocates for safe, secure, modern elections and is committed to securing equitable access to the ballot for every eligible Maine voter. Members include AARP Maine, ACLU of Maine, the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, Gateway Community Services, League of Women Voters of Maine, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Education Association, Maine Equal Justice, Maine Service Employees Association - SEIU Local 1989, Maine Women’s Lobby, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and RepresentUS.