Eliminating same-day voter registration in Maine may not sound like a big deal, but for people with disabilities it can be a real roadblock to participation in elections. Disability advocates say many have been negatively affected, including those with mobility issues.
In November, voters will face a ballot question that would repeal the law that requires new voters to register at least two business days prior to an election. David Farmer, organizer of the Protect Maine Votes Coalition, says for people with disabilities, the question is critical.
“This is particularly important for people in Maine who have limited access to transportation or limitations on their mobility.” Farmer says asking someone with mobility issues to make multiple trips to register is a barrier.
“To ask that they transport themselves, or find transportation, to a town hall twice, when a single trip to both register and vote would be sufficient, is an undue burden.”
More than 70,000 validated signatures have been sent to the Secretary of State, assuring a people’s veto question appears on the November ballot to repeal the law that eliminated same-day voter registration. Those opposing the repeal say same-day registration makes it easier to commit fraud and abuse.
The voter registration question will be Question 1 on the ballot in November.