Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster mocked in ‘Doonesbury’ comic strip

Doonesbury
Posted July 28, 2012, at 12:25 p.m.
Last modified July 28, 2012, at 4:21 p.m.
Charlie Webster
Pat Wellenbach | AP
Charlie Webster

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster is being chided about his stand on voter rights issues in the nationally syndicated “Doonesbury” comic strip.

“Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau, weighing in on attempts by states to tighten voter registration laws, quotes Webster in the strip on Friday as saying Democrats had long used Maine’s 1973 Election Day voter registration law to “steal elections.” But Webster isn’t depicted as a character. A black crow, representing Jim Crow laws, does the talking.

In the second frame, “Jimmy” Crow says, “Sadly, too many of them (voters) are Democrats, who like to ‘steal’ elections, according to GOP chair Charlie Webster.” The frame shows silhouettes of figures representing the elderly, disabled people and college students, groups that critics say could be disenfranchised by voter ID laws.

Webster told the Portland Press Herald he was not moved by the comic strip, saying he sticks by his stand on voter fraud.

“I’m still right about it,” Webster said.

Republicans pushed for passage of a voter identification law in the Maine Legislature during the past session, but it was scaled back to a study.
Maine voters in November also overturned a Republican-initiated effort to repeal the law that allows Election Day, or same-day, registrations.

Webster has said that same-day registration opens the door to voter fraud, largely by nonresident students.

A review last year by Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers found no evidence of voter fraud, but Summers said it also showed Maine’s election laws need further hedges against abuse.

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