In June, Maine Governor Paul LePage signed a law ending same-day registration for new voters. Ever since, the Protect Maine Votes coalition has been working on a citizens repeal. Now they’ve discovered that some of the same Republican politicians who support ending same-day registration have in fact used it themselves.
Voting records reveal Gov. Paul LePage, at least two state senators and seven state representatives have at one time registered to vote on Election Day or during the two business days preceding it. That practice is banned under the new law they all supported.
The argument against same-day voting, led by Republicans, is that the state doesn’t have time to process the new applications – though it generally managed to do so for the 38 years that same-day registration was law. They also argue that if you can’t be bothered to register before the day of voting, you probably shouldn’t be voting.
“The only people I want anywhere near a ballot box are those who have demonstrated they are actually invested enough in the process that they want to vote,” former Republican staffer Matthew Gagnon wrote last month. “That is the flaw with same-day voter registration: most of the people it serves are unengaged in the process.”
The list of insufficiently engaged citizens includes, apparently, the state’s own governor.