A study on voter fraud pushed by Maine Republicans concluded that there is absolutely no evidence of student voter fraud in the state — but the GOP has pledged to crack down on it anyway. Like conservative state legislatures across the country, Maine Republicans have been pushing a Voter ID law, ostensibly to prevent non-existent voter fraud. As ThinkProgress has documented, these laws are a transparent attempt to disenfranchise Democratic voters, especially students, the poor, and minorities.
The Maine secretary of state’s office began the investigation in July after Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster gave him a list of 206 out-of-state students attending public Maine universities he suggested were voting there illegally. Secretary of State Charlie Summers then broadened the investigation to go back several years and look into noncitizens as well:
After a two-month investigation into possible voter fraud by college students and noncitizens, Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers said Wednesday his evidence showed that none of the students committed fraud and only one noncitizen voted in Maine.
Nevertheless, Summers said his investigation confirmed his belief that Maine’s election system is “fragile and vulnerable,” and he vowed to submit legislation in January to fix some of the problems.
“I feel very strongly based on what I’ve laid out here today that we have a situation in the state of Maine that if we don’t try to modernize our election practices and procedures eventually it will lead us down the road where something breaks down,” Summers said.
Although no students were found guilty of legal violations, Summers says they are still under scrutiny and sent letters to dozens of them warning them that if they intend to remain residents of Maine, they will need to register their car in the state.
State GOP Chair Webster shed light on his true motivations in June when he said that it was important for the state to make it more difficult to vote because “Democrats intentionally steal elections.” He also said recently that students should have to pay taxes if they want to vote.