LePage calls for photo IDs to be used with EBT cards

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage will use his weekly radio address Saturday to rail against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for denying his request last year to require Electronic Benefits Transfer card users to show photo identification.

LePage called the Department of Agriculture’s denial “shocking,” according to an advance copy of the radio address provided Friday by LePage’s office.

“Many commercial credit and debit cards now include a customers’ photograph on the card as an enhanced security measure and retailers nearly always ask for ID before accepting checks,” said LePage. “Adding a security feature that is common in the private sector is a reasonable step to ensure that food supplement benefits paid with public dollars that are spent wisely.”

LePage argued that the federal Food and Nutrition Act already allows for a photo to be placed on EBT cards, which are issued to low-income people for the purchase of food. He said there is “no functional difference” between that and required a separate photo identification at the point of sale.

“The same goal is achieved either way,” said LePage. “That’s why the denial is so disturbing.”

LePage also attacked the USDA for neglecting to notify his office or the Maine Department of Health and Human Services about the rejection last week before members of Maine’s congressional delegation and the media knew about it. That followed an earlier, similar incident involving the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Once could be an accident, twice may be a coincidence, but three times is a pattern,” said LePage. “That’s why I have written to the Obama administration asking if Washington would be kind enough to send us these letters before sharing them with everyone else. … The federal government must be held accountable for these serious mistakes in protocol and common courtesy.”

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Steve  Dosh's picture

LePage calls for photo IDs to be used with EBT cards

. Mainers, 13.03.01 19:19 hst
Oh man , this guy is from a different century and has never seen a fake ID as a bouncer
You've heard me say it B4 ; " Paul's got 19th century solutions to 21st century problems "
Has he or does he know how to use a computer or an iPhone® ?
/s, Steve :)

Fred Stone's picture

Great idea

I know people personally that cheat the system this way and that would prevent it.

Carl Kimball's picture


Put the picture on the EBT card, most users stay on it for life any way. Just have them go to DHHS, get a picture taken that will be put on their card. I think it's a GREAT idea that Gov. LePage came up with, and i don't usually agree with him, but this time i agree big time.


Thumbprint, DNA sample??

Lepage is not interested in fraud, just in making life unpleasant for the "little people." Typical conservative.

Bob White's picture

The people that came up with

The people that came up with putting peoples picture on drivers license and state IDs were they after the little people? Does your type ever get tired of same the same foolishness. Your probably one of the free loaders that are taking advatage of the system(Im not saying everybody is a free loader) thats why your against it.

Noel Foss's picture

Given that he grew up in a Welfare household

I'd say it gives him a pretty clear perspective of welfare fraud, actually.

Bob White's picture

I dont see the problem with

I dont see the problem with having pictures makes sense to me

Jason Theriault's picture


The USDA sent Maine’s congressional delegation and the media notification first as a way of telling LePage to go to hell.


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