Kay Rand’s column (July 3) criticized the Legislature’s repeal of Election Day voter registration; labeling it “shameful.”

Rand, formerly chief of staff to Gov. Angus King, arguably supported voter procrastination in the article.

Rand contended Mainers should be allowed to delay voter registration, to the last minute, because sometimes auto registrations and inspection stickers expire and get renewed afterwards. Should laxity be that meaningful?

Forty-two states have the law Maine just enacted, requiring in-person registration at least three days before the election (21 days by mail). Massachusetts requires 20 days; New York, 30 days. Conceivably, Rand would have Maine in the last place on the subject, if enacted at all.

The once-proud saying: “As Maine goes so goes the nation,” must be turning over in a coffer.

Citizens should be encouraged to think about the election process before Election Day. Why wait weeks and months to register to vote at the town office? We likely pass the place plural times a month.

As a 19-year-old who joined the Marines during the Korean War, I respectfully suggest that as sons and daughters put their lives on the line, fighting for our freedoms, it’s not too much to ask unregistered voters to get their tails to the town office and register at least three days prior to election day (21 days by mail).

On the bright side, our new voter registration law saves us the shame of being tagged “last-minute-citizens.”

John Benoit


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