Referendum sought for law ending same-day voter registration

Posted June 23, 2011, at 5:34 a.m.
Last modified June 23, 2011, at 12:54 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Opponents of a newly enacted law that ends Maine’s Election Day voter registration policy say they’ve formed a coalition to gather signatures needed to force a referendum.

State election officials say they have until Aug. 8 to collect 57,277 voters’ signatures in order to force a November referendum.

Members of a coalition that includes representatives of organized labor, women’s, civil liberties, low income and homeless groups held a news conference Thursday. Ben Dudley of the progressive Engage Maine group said the campaign is organized, energized and determined to be successful.

The coalition says same-day registration has been part of Maine elections for 38 years and helped almost 70,000 people participate during the last two general elections.

Supporters of the repeal law say same-day registration overburdens municipal clerks on election days.