Following the Republican wave in 2010, GOP controlled state governments all over the country started implementing laws to restrict voting access. They claimed their efforts were to reduce “voting fraud” but the real focus behind the push was to make it harder for young people, college students, people who live in urban areas, and low income individuals to vote. These are groups which tend to vote for Democrats.

In Maine, the Protect Maine Votes Coalition is fighting back against these attempts to erode democracy and depress voter participation. On Monday the group submitted a petition signed by over 68,000 individuals to put a referendum on the ballot to overturn a new Republican passed law, LD 1376. This law would eliminate the state’s same day voter registration law. For decades the state of Maine allowed individuals to register to vote on Election Day; the new law, if not overturned by voters, would require individuals to register at least two business days before an election.

State law requires 57,277 valid signatures for a referendum so it is very likely the Secretary of State will certify the measure for the November 2011 ballot. If this referendum qualifies, it will join two gambling related initiatives as the only state-wide ballot measures in Main this November.

 

 

 

Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at http://pendinghorizon.com