A bill to control video recording inside polling places will receive a full and fair hearing in the House and Senate after the Legislative Council accepted the bill at its meeting onThursday.
The bill, “An Act to Protect Maine Voters from Intimidating Videotaping at the Polls,” is sponsored by Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham. He was prompted to propose the legislation after reports this year of a political group videotaping voters as they signed petitions at polling places across Southern Maine.
The videotaping was seen by many voters as a form of intimidation. The bill would give election wardens clear authority, when necessary, to remove people who are videotaping at the polls. Diamond, a former Secretary of State, consulted with current Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap in drafting his bill.
“With so many citizen initiatives on the ballot and a presidential election, turnout in 2016 could be the highest ever recorded in our state,” said Sen. Diamond. “We must make sure that our election wardens are empowered to act whenever voters feel intimidated by political activity happening inside the polling place.”
Diamond’s bill won the bipartisan support of the Legislative Council.