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Documents Relating to Maine SOS Voting Rights Comments

Documents Relating to Maine SOS Voting Rights Comments

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Published by Diane Russell
These documents relate to Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers' assertion that repealing Election Day Registration is about protecting the integrity of Maine's elections. In fact, per his own words, we already do that.
These documents relate to Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers' assertion that repealing Election Day Registration is about protecting the integrity of Maine's elections. In fact, per his own words, we already do that.

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Published by: Diane Russell on Jun 10, 2011
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09/23/2011

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Public
Information Campaign
for LD 1376
Prepared by the Office
of
he Secretary
of
State, May 2011
Target
Audience
All
Maine citizens who are eligible to voteObjectiveInform the audience that they must now register
to
vote and/or request an absentee ballot
no
later than two business days prior
to
Election Day (i.e. the preceding Thursday).Tactics, Execution
&
Projected Coste Print Mediao Submit press releases
to
dailies and weeklies• Cost:
$0
Broadcast Media (Radio and Television)o Produce 3 30-second Public Service Announcements
to
distribute
to
localnetworks ,Production Cost: $1000 -$1500, Broadcasting Cost: $0o Distribute audio from PSA's
to
local radio networksBroadcasting Cost: $0• Internet
&
Social Mediao Post alerts
&
updates
to
Secretary
of
State Website (www.maine.gov/sos)• Cost:
$0
o Post reminders on Twitter and other social networking sites• Cost:
$0
Display Monitors at BMV brancheso Show notifications on display monitorsCost: $0Visual aids (informational posters)o Displayed at municipal officeso Distributed
to
disability advocacy groupsCost: $1,450 (2,500 posters x $.58)
TOTAL
ESTIMATED COST:
$2,450 to $2,950
 
Maine Secretary
of
State supports bill eliminating same-day vote ..http://bangordailynews.com/20 I
1/0610
l/politics/maine-secretar ..
10f3
.
sr.
(j-
()l~
'-'"
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.t.."
.......
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elirrtinating
same-day
voter
By
Steve Mistler, Sun Journal
Posted
June
01, 2011,
at
5:23 a.m.
AUGUSTA,
Maine -Secretary of State Charlie Summers
and
Republican leaders are supporting a bill
that
would eliminate Maine's 38-year-old same-day voting registration
and
ban
absentee voting twobusiness days before Election
Day.
Proponents say the bill is designed to ease the workload of town clerks overwhelmed by an increasingnumber
of
voters who cast absentee ballots
and
who wait until
the
election to register.But crities counter
that
those voters often are students, the elderly
or
disabled. Groups such as the Maine
Civil
Liberties Union believe
LD
is an attempt by Republicans to gain an electoral advantage.Summers said the bill is designed to "protect the integrity
of
voting" by alleviating pressure on townclerks on Election Day. He said the bill "has nothing to do with voter fraud," an issue
that
has yieldedonly two prosecutions in Maine history.Summers said technological advances allowed "interest groups
of
all stripes to drive people to the polls.""That's a good thing," Summers said. "But because they're doing
that
in such large numbers, the clerks '.'are working from a 1973 elections model
and
they're getting
2011
technology dropped on top
of
them."
He
added
that the
stress could result in mistakes being made.Rep. Mike Carey,
D-
Lewiston, and other Democrats say the bill addresses a problem
that
doesn't exist.Carey believes the proposal is designed to curb Democrats' same-day voter mobilization, efforts
that
hethinks Republicans emulated
and
used to their advantage
in
2.010.
"If
it
wasn't for same-day registration, Paul LePage probably wouldn't
be
governor," Carey said.
More thaD
IfL.ooo
Mainers registered
on
Election
flay
in
2010.
0
8
a-.nv
that
sa.w
I.ePage narrowly
win
a
five-way race
and
give Republicans control of the Legislature.Republicans aren't convinced that same-day registration played a role in their November sweep.However, Shenna Bellows, with the
MCLU,
thinks
it
was as significant as the
50,000
Mainers whoregistered in
2008
when Barack Obama won the presidency."Same-day voter registration iikely favors
the
candidate with the most momentum
and
popularity, notany particular party," Bellows said. "In
2008 that
was Barack Obama.
In
2010 it was Republicans andPaul LePage."
6/611]
6:31
AM
 
Maine Secretary
of
State supports bill eliminating same-day vote ...http://bangordailynews.com/20
11
106/0
1 pol itics/maine-secretar ..
Summers
said
LD
1376 has nothing to do
with
gaining
an
electoral advantage."This is designed
to
relieve stresses
on the
system,"
he
said. "People can
try
to assign falsehoods
and
nefarious reasons
behind
it,
but
that's
not what
this
is about."More
than 68,000
Mainers have registered
to
vote
on
Election Day,
but
Summers
isn't
concerned
that
voter
turnout
will
be
affected. He said voters will
respond
to
the
deadline.
Summers
said
be's
focused on making
it
easier
for town clerks to
administer
ejections. Increases
in
no-reason absentee voting
appear
to have
made
that
process
more
difficult.The no-reason absentee policy was
implemented
in 2000,. Since
then,
absentee voting increased
12
percent
in
2002,
18 percent
in
2006 and
25
percent
in
2010
in
gubernatorial elections.
n } f : t T ~ ' ; 
sil",nifj"".nt
in pre.sidential
elections.
Last year,
the
city
of
Bangor reported
that 60
percent
of
all ballots
cast
were absentee.Lewiston City Clerk Kathleen Montejo
said
the
absentee
spike
has
created
more work for
her
staff during
the
days leading
up to
the
election. She said
some
absentee voters who
cast
ballots earlier sometimes
wait
in
lon1T,€.r
H~w,s
than they do on Election Day.
~
The absentee issue
promptedthe
Maine Town
&
City Clerks' Association to
endorse
LD
1376. However,_2Jiring
the
bill's public hearing,
the
organization
saidit
was concerned
that
eliminating same-day
l , ! r e 5 . g ~ i ~ s t ~ r ~ a ~ t l ~ · 0 ~ n ~ w ~ ~ ~ ~ · ~ n u f r £ . a ~ n ~ c ~ . h ~ . i ~ s : e ~ v ~ o ~ t e : x ~ s ~ . ~ 
.I!
r
During
the
hearing, Bangor City Clerk Patti Dubois
saidshe'drather
keep same-day registration while
ft:-
imposing
the
two business-day
ban on
absentee voting.
20f3
Summers
said
focusing
the
bill
onthe
absentee voting provision would "only solve
half
the
issue."He also
isn't
convinced
that
ending same-day registration would
hurt
seniors
and
students,
asopponents contend.
"If
it affects every single person
in
the
state
the
same,
I
fail
to
see
how
it makes
it
more
difficult to vote,"
Summer said.
The AARP testified against
the
bill, saying
it
could
prevent
some seniors from voting because it wouldrequire
them
to
get to town
han
twice,
rather than
once.
In
addition
to
same-day registration
and
absentee votiug,
LD
1376 changes
the
deadline
that
registrations
can be
submitted
by third-party organizations
that
mobilize voters.The proposal, along with
another
bill requiring voters to
present
photo identification
at
the
polls,resembles legislation currently before
or
recently
passed
by other
Republicau-controlled legislatures thisyear.Florida Gov. Rick Scott recently signed legislation
that
repeals a 40-year-old law
that
allows voters tochange
their
addresses
and
names
at
the
polls
on
Election Day.
The
new bill requires voters who makethose changes to
cast
a prmdsionaJ ballot, which
opponents
say
may
not
be
counted.
It,
Eke
the
Mainebill, also tightens
third-party
registration rules.Ohio
and
Pennsylvania
are
considering bills
to
tighten
voter rules, wbile Texas recently enacted a voter
IDhHt
The Republican-controlled Moutana Legislature
in
April also approved a bill
that
ended
that
state's
samB-d8V
voter
ref:1stratkrfL GOP lawmt]Kers said the
hRd
the ryotential
for
voter
ITS.uiL
6/6/1
16:31 AM

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