Making Democracy Work

Same-day Registration

Protect Maine Votes

In Short

For over 90 years, the League of Women Voters has worked to protect and enhance voting rights for all Americans, assuring opportunities for citizen participation.

We have supported same day registration since it was instituted in Maine by a Republican legislature in 1973. during the time since, Maine has enjoyed both high voter turnout and high-integrity elections. States with same-day registration generally experience voter turnout rates that are 10-12 percent higher than states that require advance registration.

In 2011, we worked with the Protect Maine Votes coalition to restore same-day registration after it was repealed by the Legislature.

More Detail

In 2011, LD 1376 Repealed Same-day Registration and required voters to register three days before Election Day. Visit the Maine Legislature's web site to read the full text of the bill.

Citizen groups including the League of Women Voters launched a People's Veto Campaign and won!

Here's why we support same-day registration:

  • Higher voter participation: States with same-day registration have turnout rates that are 10-12% higher than other states.
  • Deadlines close before some voters focus: Voter interest and media coverage of elections peak in the final week. Voters who become interested in the race at this stage would be ineligible to cast a ballot.
  • Same-day registration helps young voters and those who are geographically mobile: young Americans move more often, and if they move within their state, they may not realize that their registration is invalid.
  • Same-day registration is easier for election officials: it protects voters from errors by election officials in accidentally purging eligible voters from the voting rolls, and it is easier to administer than provisional or challenged ballots. In fact, Maine is living proof that we can administer same-day registration elections with high integrity.
  • Same-day registration does not lead to voter fraud: there have been only two prosecutions in Maine history of voters using same-day registration to vote twice in the same election.

Further Reading