[Scarborough] — This morning Mainers for Modern Elections (MME), a coalition of advocacy groups committed to safe, secure, and modern elections in Maine, joined Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and local leaders to celebrate the long-awaited launch of Maine’s automatic voter registration program.
As of June 2022, Maine joined 21 other states and the District of Columbia that have enacted or implemented automatic voter registration in some form. The launch is the culmination of efforts that began before 2019 when Maine passed legislation establishing an automatic voter registration system.
Automatic voter registration (AVR) is a secure system that allows eligible voters to register to vote while completing a usual transaction at the BMV like updating an address or obtaining a state ID without needing to complete extra paperwork. AVR is one of the best ways to ensure the security, integrity, and accuracy of elections.
Member organizations of Mainers for Modern Elections issued the following statements:
Anna Kellar, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Maine and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections
Automatic Voter Registration builds on Maine’s proud tradition of leading the country in voter registration and participation. AVR makes our voter rolls more accurate, streamlines our voter registration system, and protects those who decline or are ineligible from being inadvertently registered to vote.
Noel Bonam, State Director, AARP Maine
Older Mainers will appreciate automatic voter registration as a simple way to keep registration documents up to date and ready to go for Election Day. Automatic voter registration is a no-brainer and allows older Maine voters to simplify a multi-step process into one easy step. We commend the Secretary of State’s office for developing, testing, and now rolling out AVR.
William Sedlack, Program Manager, Maine Conservation Voters
At a time when the fractures within our nation’s democracy are more apparent and dangerous than ever, Maine has taken the security and accessibility of our state’s elections seriously. Automatic voter registration is a more accurate, cost-effective, and efficient system that will help fortify access to the ballot box for all eligible Maine voters. Maine Conservation Voters thanks Secretary of State Shenna Bellows and key legislators in Augusta for leading this necessary accomplishment for Maine’s democracy.
Mainers for Modern Elections is a coalition committed to ensuring that our right to vote safely transcends politics and partisanship. The coalition advocates for safe, secure, modern elections and is committed to securing equitable access to the ballot for every eligible Maine voter. Members include the ACLU of Maine, League of Women Voters of Maine, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, Maine Conservation Voters, Represent US, Center for Secure and Modern Election, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Equal Justice, Maine Women’s Lobby, Maine People’s Alliance, Defend Our Health, Maine Service Employees Association, Maine Education Association, and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.