This is in response to the Feb. 17 editorial concerning LD 199 — a bill that would require Maine voters to produce photo ID every time they vote.

This change in the law would constitute a burden on Mainers’ right to vote and is completely unnecessary, as well as unfair. Studies show that 11 percent of the general population and 18 percent of the elderly population have no form of photo ID.

The suggestion that a birth certificate or a Social Security card could be used as a substitute for a photo ID does not entirely solve the problem. Many people who are elderly or were born abroad do not have a U.S. birth certificate. Besides, a certified birth certificate costs $15 in Maine.

Not everyone has a Social Security card, either. I destroyed mine long ago to prevent identity theft. To obtain another one, I would have to present a photo ID.

If the bill passes, state government would have to undertake the cost of conducting a public education campaign. Maine voters are not currently prepared to show a photo ID at the polls. That cost would come at a time when government budgets are stretched thin and the stated priorities of legislators are jobs and the economy.

All this fuss is simply unwarranted. According to my research, there have been only two cases of voter fraud prosecuted by Maine’s attorney general in more than 30 years.

The proposal is a solution in search of a problem.

Michelle Small, Brunswick

Editor’s note: Michelle Small is a member of the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Maine.


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