Maine: Bring Same-Day Registration Back? Maine Votes | NPR

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.

Editorials: North Carolina voter law changes hinder ballot access | Salisbury Post

In cities across the state, North Carolinians are going to the polls this week to exercise the most fundamental right of our democracy: the right to vote. The underlying principle of our democracy is that we are all equal in the voting booth: black or white, young or old, rich or poor. When we cast our ballot, we all raise an equal voice to determine the shape of our government.

Sadly, some North Carolina legislators seem determined to reduce the chorus of voices that will be heard in the 2012 elections. Earlier this year, the General Assembly passed an onerous bill to make voters show a government photo ID when they vote. It may seem like a common-sense requirement, but more people than you may imagine don’t drive or have a photo ID — and they are disproportionately people of color, the elderly, low-income citizens, women who change their names and the young. For example, a match-up of motor vehicle and election databases shows that while African Americans are 22 percent of N.C. registered voters, they are 32 percent of the roughly 500,000 registered voters without a state-issued ID.

Maine: Voter fraud rare in Maine, elsewhere with same-day registration | Bangor Daily News

Should we make voting as easy as possible so that more people will vote? If we make voting easier, will many ineligible people vote? When Maine votes on Nov. 8 on Question 1 — deciding whether to overturn the Legislature’s plan to end voter registration on future election days — it will answer these two questions. In recent decades, Maine has allowed people to register to vote on Election Day, eliminating the need to register separately and in advance. It is one of 10 states that have so-called “same-day” registration, which will still be in effect on Nov. 8.

The theory is that voting is made easier by eliminating the need for advance registration, so more people will vote. Although many factors affect turnout, in the 2010 elections, average turnout in the “same-day” states was 48.3 percent, compared with 40.9 percent in the United States as a whole. Encouraging voting is American public policy. For example, the federal “motor-voter” law allows registration when renewing a driver’s license.

Maine: Same-Day Voter Battle: It All Boils Down to Winning Elections | MPBN

For nearly 40 years, Maine residents have been allowed to walk into a town office on Election Day, fill out a form and register to vote. But that all came to an end back in June, when the Republican-controlled Legislature changed the rules: Now you have to register at least two business days before Election Day. So why did that happen, and why did it so upset Democrats that they launched a campaign to restore the law, gathering tens of thousands of signatures to get the issue onto the Nov. 8 ballot?

We return to the floor of the Maine House in early June of this year, as Republicans make their case to do away with same-day voter registration. Argument number one: Municipal clerks around Maine are overburdened by the extra work of processing last-minute registrations.