A bill pending in the Maine legislature (LD 1376) would eliminate Same Day Registration (SDR), which allows people to register to vote and cast their ballot on Election Day. The result will be decreased voter turnout and otherwise-eligible voters, especially young and first-time voters, being turned away at the polls on Election Day.
This latest unnecessary and insidious attack on youth voting rights is expected to come up for a vote in the state House any day now.
Mainers, if you want to protect your rights, call your State Senator (800-423-6900) and State Representative (800-423-2900). (Need to know who those folks are? Click here to find out: http://maine.gov/portal/government/edemocracy/lookup_voter_info.php.)
Few states take more pride in its high voter turnout than Maine. In 1972, prior to adoption of SDR, Maine ranked 21st in the country in voter participation. In the last presidential election, Maine had the third highest voter participation rate in the country. SDR protects voters against the accidental purging of their names from the voting rolls, makes it easier for highly mobile voters to keep their registration information current, and is simply one of the most effective ways to increase participation in elections (states that have it have turnout rates about 10 percentage points higher than those without).
I am really at a loss here trying to figure out why some politicians in Maine would want to get rid of this. And, as if that isn’t enough, fast on its heels will be a bill to impose a highly restrictive photo ID requirement on voters. Too many honest citizens voting in Maine, and we can’t have that. Ugh.