AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The leader of the Maine Republican Party says the state has a problem with voter fraud and he can prove it.
GOP Chairman Charles Webster says he has found evidence that out-of-state college students are improperly registering and voting in Maine. Webster says he and his secretary obtained the names of out of state students at USM, the University of Maine and U-Maine Farmington, compared them with voter registration lists in those communities and checked voter records in the students' home towns... Webster says they found more than 200 people who registered to vote in Maine, but were apparently not legal Maine residents. Webster says those students have driver's license from their home states drive cars registered in those states and in other ways show they actually are residents of places other than Maine. In a handful of cases, he claims, some of those people voted both in Maine and their home state in the same election.
Democrats responded that Webster had proved nothing. Rep. Michael Carey (D) Lewiston, lead democrat on the Legal and veterans Affairs Committee, said Webster showed no actual evidence of voter fraud.
Webster, meanwhile, wants the Secretary of State and the Attorney General to investigate. He handed the list of names to Secretary of State Charlie Summers, who said he would have an initial review by the end of the week. The entire issue also relates to the ongoing "People's Veto" effort by Democrats to block a new state law-passed by Republicans that eliminates Maine's long practice of allowing people to register to vote on Election Day. Webster argued that his findings prove there is voter fraud happening in Maine and the new law is needed. Democrats counter that there is scant evidence of a problem. They have until August 8 to submit enough petition signatures to get the issue on the November ballot. The deadline to meet the ultimate People's Veto is late September.