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Politics

Maine's Secretary Of State Testifies In Congress In Support Of Broadening Voter Rights

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Shenna Bellows testifies on H.R. 1 on Thursday.

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is telling Congress Maine’s electoral process increases voter participation — especially among people with limited access.

Bellows touted Maine’s election laws before the Congressional Committee on House Administration on Thursday in support of H.R. 1 — a federal bill intended to increase voting access.

“Maine consistently enjoys some of the highest rates of voter participation in the country. More than 75% of our voting-age population participated in 2020. Over 62% of Mainers voted absentee. Public confidence in our elections and the results are strengthened through transparency and fairness,” she said.

Bellows said Maine’s election laws can be a model for voter access across the country.

“Our laws and policies, many of which are consistent with the provisions of H.R. 1, have encouraged broad participation in elections and public service by people from diverse backgrounds and walks of life,” she said.

The Democrat-led bill aims to reduce the power of money in politics while raising voter accessibility. Bellows touted the bill as an extension of Maine policies already in place — same-day voter registration, voting rights for people who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated, no-excuse absentee voting, absentee voting at least 30 days prior to Election Day and more.

Bellows said H.R. 1 also provides additional resources for states like Maine to make technological improvements to increase the ease of voting for rural residents.