Sen. Craig Hickman (D-Kennebec) has had enough of Republicans introducing election integrity bills.
Last week, Hickman took the unusual step of moving to kill one such bill from Rep. David Boyer (R-Poland) just moments after Boyer had finished introducing it to the Veteran’s and Legal Affairs Committee.
Boyer’s bill (LD 1500) would have made four minor changes to elections in Maine.
First, it would have required video monitoring from election drop boxes. Currently, drop boxes for ballots are left unattended and unmonitored for large periods of times during an election.
Second, it also would have prevented the Secretary of State’s office from printing party identifiers on the outside of envelopes containing absentee ballots, as currently happens for some primary and general election ballots. In a general election, identifying ballots on the exterior of an envelope creates an obvious vulnerability. (A law has already gone into effect that will prevent general election ballots from having party identifiers, but that law was not in effect for the 2022 elections.)
The third and fourth items from Boyer’s bill have to do with how voter registration rolls are maintained. Under his proposal, the state would require municipalities to clean up voter rolls when registered voters move to new jurisdictions or die.
These changes were apparently beyond the pale for Hickman, the chair of the committee.
Typically, lawmakers who are members of the committee to which they are presenting bills get a little more respect than usual, regardless of party lines. Chairs rarely if ever will move to instantly kill a bill before a fellow committee member has even taken a seat.
“There’s nothing about this bill that deserves a whole lot of conversation,” said Hickman.
After initially raising an “Ought Naught to Pass” motion for the bill, the committee ended up tabling it. But for all intents and purposes, the bill is dead.
You can watch how it all played out Friday here:
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