This is in response to the Sun Journal editorial of Jan. 1, “Making voting easy and secure our ultimate goal.
The Sun Journal had it right when its editors cited Brennan Center studies on suppressive voting laws and concluded, “Elections should be won on the basis of superior ideas, not by throwing pointless stumbling blocks in front of honest voters.” Yet, oddly, that same editorial concluded by endorsing just such a pointless stumbling block — a photo ID requirement at the polls.
Brennan Center research demonstrates that up to 11 percent of eligible citizens lack photo IDs for voting. Recently, the Justice Department rejected South Carolina’s photo ID law, finding it to be a discriminatory, overly burdensome requirement that blocks eligible American citizens from voting. Furthermore, the impact of a photo ID law would be greatest on those “honest voters” who are most vulnerable to the partisan manipulation of the electorate: students, seniors, people of color, low-income voters, and people with disabilities.
Maine voters sent a resounding message to the Legislature last fall, demonstrating confidence in Maine’s long-standing and successful elections system. They were right to do so, and should continue to reject measures — such as mandatory photo ID — that place politics above the honest elections championed by this very paper.
Lee Rowland, New York City
Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice