Maine: Does same-day registration affect the turnout? | The Portland Press Herald

One of the ongoing arguments between supporters and detractors of Election Day registration is whether the practice has led to Maine’s high voter turnout. Lance Dutson, chief executive officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which is campaigning against the fall referendum, provided a chart showing Maine’s turnout has been consistent both before and after the 1973 law originally passed. “There was no perceptible change in voter turnout after the law was passed,” he said.

The chart shows Maine voter turnout hovering around 60 percent over the last 50 years. But David Farmer, spokesman for the Yes on 1/Protect Maine Votes campaign, said the chart is misleading and that Maine’s turnout has increased because of Election Day registration.

“The states that perform best all have same-day registration,” he said. “The reason (Maine’s rate) has stayed consistent is because you had the 26th Amendment, which added millions of new voters nationally to the rolls when they expanded the franchise to 18-year-olds.”

Maine: Opponents of Same-Day Voter Registration Mobilize, Draw Criticism | MPBN

A conservative advocacy group has stepped into the public debate over same day voter registration in maine. the Maine Heritage Policy Center has created a ballot question committee to oppose the restoration of registration on election day. Supporters of the so-called “people’s veto” effort, who want same day registration restored to Maine law, said the conservative group must disclose its funders. The MHPC said it is not about to agree to that request.

Earlier this year, Republicans in Augusta pushed through a change in Maine law, eliminating same-day voter registration in the state. To support the move, they’ve tried to create a link to cases of voter fraud. Supporters of same-day registration said the fraud issue has no merit whatsoever, and have launched a people’s veto campaign to restore the old law. But Lance Dutson of the Maine Heritage Policy Center said that an investigation into sample ballots by Secretary of State Charlie Summers indicates there are significant flaws in the process. “What our concern is that Maine’s structure right now doesn’t provide any real protections against fraud — basically folks are on the honor system,” Dutson said.