Testimony: Support Voter ID in Maine (LD 34)
Testimony in Support of LD 34: “An Act to Require a Person to Show Photographic Identification for the Purpose of Voting.”
Senator Hickman, Representative Supica, and the distinguished members of the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, my name is Nick Murray and I serve as director of policy for Maine Policy Institute. We are a free-market think tank, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates for individual liberty and economic freedom in Maine. Thank you for the opportunity to testify on LD 34.
Even though 80% of Americans support requiring voters to present a photo ID at the polls, some fear that it disenfranchises voters and suppresses voter turnout—even our own Secretary of State testified that this common sense reform is “rooted in white supremacy.” Real-world experience shows us that these concerns are unfounded.
In the four years after Georgia implemented its then-controversial voter ID law in 2008, turnout among Black and Hispanic voters increased and even outpaced overall population growth among those demographics. Even through 2022, turnout in the state continues to break records. A poll conducted by the University of Georgia School of Public & International Affairs found no Black voters who said they had a poor experience at the polls last year.
A national study published in the National Bureau of Economic Research observed over one million voters from 2008 to 2018 and found no statistically significant change in voting behavior such as registration and turnout rates related to voter ID laws. In reality, voter ID provisions buttress the integrity of the electoral process and substantially reduce the possibility of voter fraud.
For those who do not have valid photographic identification, this bill provides for any resident to obtain a free photo ID card in order to vote if they do not have a driver’s license, US passport, military ID, or concealed carry permit.
Enacting voter ID would be a win-win for voters and for election officials. It’s popular, painless, and protects the integrity of a foundational institution of our government. Please deem LD 34 “Ought To Pass” and advance it to the full legislature. Thank you for your time and consideration.