Don’t believe everything you read. This advice would have served Maine media well when they received a news release recently from the group Protect Maine Votes.

The organization, which is trying to overturn Maine’s new common-sense voting guidelines through a people’s veto, listed a number of Republican legislators who — it claims — registered to vote on past election days.

It says their support the new law that requires Maine residents to register to vote two business days before the election is hypocritical.

This is an absurd argument. It’s like saying someone who drove 45 miles per hour when that was the speed limit, but then supported lowering it is a hypocrite.

Like anyone who registered to vote on past election days, they were following the law at the time.

What’s equally alarming is Protect Maine Votes got its facts wrong, and media throughout the state ran with it.

Had they done a minimal amount of research, one error they would have found was the claim that Rep. Amy Volk of Scarborough registered to vote on Election Day in 1999. In fact, she registered to vote that Oct. 27, the Wednesday before the election.

Protect Maine Votes incorrectly named a number of other legislators on its list.

This calls into question not only its credibility, but its motivation in what seems to be a desperate attempt to mislead Maine voters.

I sponsored the bill that requires voters to register two days before the election because it is a reasonable measure to ensure voting officials around the state have enough time to process the growing number of late registrations and absentee ballots. Most states require voters to register weeks in advance.

In an election, accuracy is the top priority. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Protect Maine Votes.

Rep. Robert Nutting

R-Oakland

Speaker of the House


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