For nearly 40 years, voters in Maine have been able to walk into a polling place or town hall on Election Day and register to vote. But the Republican-controlled legislature this year decided to remove the option, citing the stress on municipal clerks and concerns about the potential for voter fraud.
Angry Democrats responded by launching a people’s veto campaign, and come Election Day this Tuesday, voters will consider whether to restore same-day registration. When Richard Vargas retired from the Marine Corps and returned home to coastal Maine 16 years ago, he was surprised to run into problems at the local polls, not once, but twice.
“I had registered to vote quite a few years prior to that, and I voted absentee when I was in the service, and when I went to vote, my name wasn’t on the roster,” Vargas says. “So the town clerk had me fill out a ballot and added me to the roster and everything was good to go, both times.”
Thomaston town clerk Joan Linscott is an outspoken supporter of same-day voter registration, which she says ensures that people such as Vargas, who are the victims of innocent mistakes, retain their right to be heard.
“If you didn’t know that you weren’t on the list until Election Day, that basically means that takes your right to vote in that election away,” Linscott says.
Full Article: Bring Same-Day Registration Back? Maine Votes : NPR.