NEW YORK-- On Tuesday, voters in Maine decisively voiced their support for fair and open elections. By a 3 to 2 margin, voters restored the option of Same Day Registration, rejecting the Republican-sponsored effort to make voting more difficult. Miles Rapoport, President of Demos, former Secretary of the State of Connecticut and long-time Same Day Registration advocate, issued the following statement:
“Maine has long prided itself on high voter participation, sparked by its long-standing practice of Same Day Registration (SDR). Now Maine’s citizens have spoken loud and clear: They will not allow people who want to discourage real participation to diminish Maine’s commitment to participatory democracy. In particular, the ‘Yes On 1’ coalition – including groups like the Maine Peoples Alliance, the League of Women Voters of Maine, and the Maine ACLU – had the courage and foresight to challenge an undemocratic law and to have faith in their fellow voters.
“Maine pioneered the pro-voter reform of Same Day Registration. In 1973, a Republican-dominated legislature voted to reform the state’s antiquated registration laws and establish the common-sense policy of allowing people to establish their eligibility to vote at the polling place on election day. Maine’s leadership on Same Day Registration has placed it consistently among the top states in voter turnout.
“Demos’ research has shown how Same Day Registration increases voter participation and how SDR states lead the nation in voter turnout. Even as recently as the 2010 elections, states with same-day registration had voter turnout that was 6 percent higher than in states without it. And in Maine, they have consistently had one of the highest voter turnout rates in the country.
“Today’s resounding affirmation of democracy and voting rights in Maine is a lesson for the entire country. Americans believe that voting is a right and a civic obligation, and they don’t like it when politicians try to take away their voting rights. Maine citizens, for the last 40 years, have led the way in showing the promise of American democracy. The decisive embrace of Same Day Registration in Maine on Tuesday is a lesson that all states should embrace to ensure that all citizens can participate fully in our democracy.”
Read Demos’ SDR Factsheet: http://bit.ly/teeToT