The bill, passed in the last legislative session, that prohibits same-day voter registration sullies Maine’s proud legacy of voter participation and is another sad moment of a much darker tradition.

Vote suppression has taken many forms: Poll taxes and literacy tests were once used by southern extremists to disenfranchise blacks and the poor. The Voting Rights Act (1965) put an end to those practices, but it did not end reactionary efforts to reduce voter turnout amongst groups that tend to vote Democratic.

Subsequent tactics have included purging voter rolls, caging lists, fraudulent robo-calls and mailings to select neighborhoods telling voters not to vote or giving inaccurate information about locations, time and false voter “requirements.”

Photo IDs and restrictive registration laws, such as the one that was enacted in Maine this year, are simply the latest tactics to flow from a long polluted stream.

Voter fraud is the phony pretext for this latest reactionary attack on voting rights. These unscrupulous tactics are aimed at students, minorities, the elderly and the poor, the groups targeted by Maine’s new restrictive registration scheme. A “yes” vote on Question 1 will restore same-day voter registration. Vote “yes” on Question 1 on Nov. 8.

Christopher and Maryanne McKinnon

Augusta


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