Why we oppose: Photo ID Requirement for Voting

Democracy should be accessible to everyone, without unwarranted barriers to participation.

The Problem

Photo ID laws are expensive, unnecessary, and disenfranchise voters

Why NOT to Pass it

1.Studies show that as many as 11 percent of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo ID. That percentage is even higher for seniors, people of color, people with disabilities, low-income voters, and students. Many citizens find it hard to get government photo IDs because the underlying documentation like birth certificates (the ID one needs to get ID) is often difficult or expensive to come by. 

2.Voter ID laws counter one exceedingly rare kind of voter fraud --impersonating someone else at the polls. This hasn’t occurred in Maine. Only one case of voter fraud that has been prosecuted in more than 30 years.

3.Implementation of voter photo ID laws in other states has cost millions of dollars. In addition to the cost of offering free documents such as driver’s license and birth certificate, as required by the Supreme Court, other states have had to launch massive and continuing voter education campaigns.

Addressing Common Concerns

Improvements in voting technology and modernization of our voter registration system will both increase efficiency and close the door on mistakes and fraud. 

Where there are clear policy solutions that resolve concerns about both election integrity and free and fair access to the polls, American citizens should not be subject to costly, restrictive documentation requirements that limit access to the polls.

Sources and Links to more information

•League of Women voters:  http://www.lwvme.org/files/LD_199_Photo_ID.pdf

•Basics on Photo ID and voting: http://www.demos.org/publication/voter-identification-fact-sheet