This November’s ballot will include a question to repeal LD 1376, the law that ends Election Day voter registration, so municipal clerks may focus their energy on the election and also afford them adequate time to verify applicants’ qualifications. In addition, it requires registrars to accept registrations on any day that the clerk’s office is open prior to the registration deadline and to be available to accept registrations on the third business day before Election Day, which is the deadline under this law. That leaves about 360 days in the year leading up to the election for a resident to prepare to vote.
Of the 356 days in a year, 260 are business days. Therefore, there are 520 business days in a two-year election cycle and 1,040 business days in a four-year presidential or gubernatorial election cycle; certainly enough time for a any legal resident to register.
Records show that Election Day voter registration has had no impact on voter turnout, as Maine’s turnout rate has remained statistically unchanged since it was enacted.
This raises questions. Of the 260 business days in a year, or the 1,040 business days in a four-year election cycle, why would Election Day be the only opportunity for a person to register? And why do proponents of the peoples’ veto question claim voters will be “disenfranchised” and advocate so strongly for same-day voter registration, given the fact that it has no impact on voter turnout?
Gary C. Foster