Legislative committee shelves voter identification bill

Posted Jan. 26, 2012, at 11:45 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A voter identification bill that triggered a partisan fight last year before it was carried over to this year’s session has been set aside by a Maine legislative committee.

The Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee voted Wednesday to table the bill, which would require voters to present a photo ID before voting. The bill may turn into a broader study of Maine’s electoral system.

It was set aside as Maine’s chief election official, Secretary of State Charlie Summers, presented a report that identifies potential clerical and procedural errors in the state’s Central Voter Registration System.

Civil libertarians, seniors’ groups and the League of Woman Voters opposed the voter ID bill, saying it would dampen election participation. Supporters said it would prevent fraud and abuse of voting rights.

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