Petitioners hit the streets to fight for election day registration

9:11 PM, Jul 9, 2011   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Efforts are underway to repeal a new law that would end same-day voter registration in Maine.

 Governor LePage signed the bill earlier this month. It ends an almost forty-year tradition of allowing Mainers to register to vote on election day.

On Saturday, groups in nine counties set out to gather signatures to put the issue out to voters. They need almost 60 thousand signatures to put a people's veto question on the ballot. Those who support same-day voter registration say it protects everyone's right to vote.

"It's to protect people who move frequently, young people, elderly people, people who decide at the last minute who they want to vote for, and I think they should have the right to do that" Melanie Collins of the Maine People's Alliance told NEWS CENTER.

Supporters of the new law say it puts too much pressure on town and city clerks.

"In the case of Portland where thirteen to fifteen thousand people vote absantee, and with the election day voter registration, sooner or later the system's going to overheat and we're going to have a situation much similar like they had in Florida in 2000," Secretary of State Charlie Summers said. "As the chief election official, I think it's very important to try and lean forward just a little bit and address the problem."

Petitioners need to collect nearly sixty thousand signatures to put the question out to voters.



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