(AP) – A large crowd that includes a number of students is on hand for a legislative hearing on student voting rights this afternoon in Augusta.
The Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee is taking testimony on a bill to prohibit students who live in college dormitories from claiming residency for voting purposes. Current Maine law allows college students to use their dorms as their residence when registering to vote.
The bill faces formidable opposition in the State House. Both legislative presiding officers say it sends the wrong message.
House Speaker Glenn Cummings says that if you can get a person to vote once, they are much more likely to become lifetome voters.
He says the state needs to encourage people to vote, not discourage them by making it more difficult.
Colby College sophomore Henry Beck, a member of the Waterville City Council, calls the bill ":a cynical attempt to suppress youth voters.":