Legislative Council voted along party lines to refuse the introduction of a Joint Resolution calling on Congress to repeal the 2005 law to protect Mainers’ private information and save taxpayer dollars
AUGUSTA – The Legislative Council of the Maine Legislature today voted not to advance a Joint Resolution calling on the United States Congress to repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005, seeking to protect Mainers’ personal privacy and save taxpayer dollars. The vote fell along party lines, with four Republicans voting for the Resolution, and six Democrats voting against the Resolution. The Resolution, a collaboration between the sponsor, State Representative Laurel Libby (R-Auburn), and the ACLU, and presented to the Legislative Council by State Representative Maggie O’Neil (D-Saco), will not advance to the full legislature for consideration.
REAL ID presents a number of serious problems without addressing any. The law forces local governments to create a one-stop-shop for identity thieves seeking to harm Mainers. In order to obtain a REAL ID, residents must submit multiple sensitive and often difficult to obtain documents to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, potentially including social security cards, insurance policies, and birth certificates. The information collected is then required by federal law to be shared with every other state in the country.
“The Maine legislature has a long bipartisan history of protecting its citizens’ privacy, refusing to participate in Real ID from 2007 to 2017. Mainers value their privacy, as evidenced by the fact that only 15% of Maine residents have opted in to Real ID at this point. This Joint Resolution had the support of the ACLU, Secretary of State, and members of the legislature on both sides, including a verbal commitment from Speaker Talbot Ross, who then voted against the Resolution” said Rep. Libby. “I am disappointed that so many of my colleagues prioritized partisan politics over supporting the privacy rights of our fellow Mainers and voted against this resolution.”