Thank you Dana Dyer! We need more people to speak out against this peoples veto - and pointing out media bias when we see it.
The Maine Education Association has a poll question on their Facebook page.
Maine Education Association asked:
On Tuesday Nov. 8, how are you going to vote on Question #1?
Yes, restore the right to register and vote on Election Day
No, keep the law repealing same-day voting on the books
My prediction - the people's veto will win handily. The "voter fraud" fiasco helped their cause. Hopefully, the Republican Party will stay away from this one lest they be accused of trying to thwart peoples' right to vote.
Deadline set for absentee ballots
The Associated Press
AUGUSTA — Maine election officials say a (Thursday) Nov. 3 deadline has been set for requesting an absentee ballot for this fall's voting.
Voters may request an absentee ballot after the deadline if they complete a special circumstances application, stating an unexpected absence from the municipality on Election Day, a physical disability, or an inability to travel to the polls because the voter is a resident of a coastal island.
More information ....www.maine.gov/sos/cec/ or call (207) 624-7650.
Critics of GOP lawmakers mistaken on facts and logic
Don't believe everything you read. This advice would have served The Portland Press Herald and other media outlets well when they received a news release recently from the group Protect Maine Votes.
Pursue honest elections
By Thomas Shields
Published on Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 12:12 am
Ballot Question 1 cancels a current law that stops voter registration two business days before an election. The ballot question can be characterized as liberal political harassment.
Voter registration changes are essential
By Jonathan McKane, Special to the BDN
Posted Sept. 29, 2011, at 4:24 p.m.
The lack of a voter-fraud smoking cannon in the recent report from Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers has brought delighted cheers from Democrats in this state. They feel confident the report confirms what they have been repeating mantralike for years: “There is no voter fraud in Maine… There is no voter fraud in Maine…”
The report confirms nothing of the kind. In fact, it shows yet another case of voter fraud. But worse than that, it demonstrates a voter registration and election system that is not only an irrational anachronism, it is fraught with security weaknesses.
Within the tiny statistical sample that Secretary Summers investigated — a fraction of 1 percent of the total number of registered voters in Maine — he found 77 voters who were registered in Maine and another state as well as six non-U.S. citizens who were registered to vote in Maine. Considering the small sample and the fact that municipalities only have to hold election records for two years, this is a phenomenal amount of “clerical errors.”
Technically — and surprisingly — those situations are not called “voter fraud.” Actual voter fraud is a very specific crime and is not easy to prove. There has to be definitive proof that a voter had intent to illegally change the results of an election.
Democrats believe that without lots of proof of voter fraud, our voting and election system does not need to change. They are wrong.
Maine’s system is by far one of the most unsecure and lax in the country — if not the world. Virtually anyone can vote in Maine as there are no real checks on a voter’s identification — and certainly not the time to check, even if there were. All you need is an invoice with a street address on it.
Take the now-infamous 19 Grand Cayman Island students, for example. These students were in Maine temporarily because of damage done to their school from a hurricane. They were not residents of Maine; they never were and never intended to be. They were, however, rounded up on Election Day with nothing more than a hotel address and were allowed to play a role in deciding who Maine residents should have represent them in the Legislature. They have not set foot in the state since.
A new law that would make these kinds of abuses more difficult was passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor last June. The law prohibits registering to vote on Election Day or within two business days before that day. Forty-two states have this requirement or tougher. Most are much tougher.
The title of the bill was “An Act to Preserve the Integrity of the Voter Registration and Election Process” and that is all this is about. Sadly, before it could become law, left-wing groups gathered enough signatures for a people’s veto. They are claiming that voters will become “disenfranchised.” Again, this isn’t true.
New voters will continue to have all year long to register to vote. They will be able to register at their town hall, by mail, at any Bureau of Motor Vehicles or at any state social services agency.
The State Division of Elections provides voter registration applications to 17- and 18-year-old students every fall. A 17-year-old can register before Election Day if they are going to be 18 on or before that day.
Also, Maine law requires municipal clerks to visit all licensed nursing homes and residential care facilities in the 30 days before Election Day. And finally, if you want to vote early, you can register and vote on the same day.
It couldn’t be much easier to register and vote in Maine. Allowing two days before Election Day for municipal clerks to verify new Maine voters is no real burden.
This November, Maine people still have a chance to make this change law and start to secure the voter registration process. It is essential that we do.
Secure and honest elections are the foundation of a democracy. Without them, we have no democracy — only a sham reminiscent of the “elections” held in the former Soviet Union.
The recent revelations about Maine’s least-secure-in-the-nation election process have sent a chilling reminder about just how easy it is to illegally influence a Maine election. Vote No on Question 1 this November.
Jonathan McKane, R-Newcastle, represents District 51 in the Maine House of Representatives.
By Rep. Jonathan McKane
Published on Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:12 am | Last updated on Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 at 12:12 am 4 Comments
The Sun Journal’s editorial, “Measuring ME residency in different doses,” went after Secretary of State Charlie Summers for simply doing his job (Oct. 4). It was derogatory, ill-informed and irresponsible.
In a letter sent to some college students, Secretary Summers reminded them that if they register to vote in this state, they are considered residents and thus are subject to the same laws residents must abide by. This is the conclusion that Attorney General Bill Cohen reached ("Bill" was added by the LSJ and they owe me a retraction. My original, to save words, simply said AG Cohen. The AG at the time was Richard Cohen) when this issue was last addressed in 1980. I believe it is also the opinion of the current attorney general, William Schneider.
The Sun Journal considered that notification bullying and intimidating — even though the secretary of state oversees both elections and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
The editorial goes off on a tangent and tries to calculate how much tuition would be lost if all of those out-of-state students were allowed in-state tuition, even though the University of Maine uses a different set of rules to determine residence for tuition purposes than the state does for tax and voting purposes.
The piece also referenced an “investigative reporter” named Ernest A. Canning, a blogger who disparages all things Republican and works tirelessly against any kind of election reform. Using his opinions on Maine’s election reform is the equivalent of using Rush Limbaugh’s opinion on Dirigo Health. You know the opinion before you ask.
This irresponsible and ill-informed editorial flaunts the newspaper’s liberal bias using ridicule, insults and mean-spiritedness. It is profoundly disrespectful to the secretary of state as well as the chairman of the Maine Republican Party. We expect something better from one of Maine’s largest newspapers.
Rep. Jonathan McKane, R-Newcastle, represents District 51
FROM A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL: “It has been a record year for new legislation designed to make it harder for Democrats to vote. The Republicans passing these laws never acknowledge their real purpose, which is to turn away from the polls people who are more likely to vote Democratic...The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.”
This comment on national events ties in with accusations made by the People’s Veto supporters---a long, long stretch for Maine. The new law here requires registration by the previous Thursday at the latest. Vermont requires Wednesday. Does anyone think Vermont is a dominated by Republicans? In fact every traditionally Democrat-dominated state denies voters Election-Day Registration. Washington and Rhode Island require registration 30 days before election day. Illinois demand a 28-day lead time, New York demands a 25-day lead time, Maryland and New Jersey 21, Massachusetts 20, California 15, Connecticut 14.
The few states allowing Election Day Registration include Wyoming, New Hampshire, Idaho, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Minnesota, and Iowa—no pattern of Democratic dominance in those states, although the shift in Minnesota is recent.
My goodness - the NYT does seem awfully sure of themselves, regarding the purported "real reason" for the move to strengthen voting integrity.
Too bad they're wrong.
Rep. McKane - is Nemitz moonlighting at the SJ?
Predictable yawn of the century:
Posted: October 12
Updated: Today at 6:25 AM
Yes on 1 campaign scores key supporter
Those hoping to restore same-day voter registration unveil a Web ad and MMA endorsement.
By Rebekah Metzler firstname.lastname@example.org
MaineToday Media State House Writer
AUGUSTA - ... proponents of a people's veto initiative ...touting endorsements and an online commercial that they hope to put on television.
The Protect Maine Votes/Yes on 1 campaign announced Tuesday that it has the endorsement of the Maine Municipal Association. On Monday, the campaign released a Web advertisement that it is seeking to run on television.
"More Money Always" endorses the Veto -- what a non-surprise.
THE MAINE PEOPLES ALLIANCE DOES NOT REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF MAINE-
by Richard M Cebra on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 5:55pm
In June, a group of roughly 50 people entered a local Bank of America branch in Brunswick in the middle of the business day. Many wore hooded sweatshirts pulled over their heads and raised their fists in defiance, reminiscent of the mobs that recently plagued the streets of London. The group brought business at the bank to a standstill, as they filled the lobby, waved signs, and voiced their rage through a bullhorn. This exercise in disruption, called a ‘flash protest’, was produced by a group of professional malcontents known as the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA). The MPA is the leading force behind the ‘Yes on 1’ campaign to reinstate same-day voter registration in Maine, and the similarities between the street-punk hostilities at Bank of America and the MPA’s referendum effort are striking.
Most so-called ‘People’s Veto’ efforts to overturn laws passed by the legislature are the result of a grassroots reaction to legislative overreach. The Yes on 1 campaign this year is different.
The Maine People’s Alliance, and like-minded left-wing groups, began this campaign before they had an issue to run it against. In February, the Kennebec Journal reported that a group called the Maine People’s Veto Alliance held a meeting in Richmond to lay out plans for the campaign. They had no particular issue to be enraged about, but they were certain something the new leadership in state government did would give them a vehicle for their recall efforts.
Several months later, the MPA sent out emails to their membership, asking them to submit ideas for an issue to run a veto campaign against. By mid-June, the MPA had still not decided what issue to choose for their campaign. They considered a veto attempt against the legislature’s health care reform bill, but ultimately decided on the same-day voter registration issue after what they referred to as “input from thousands of MPA members, consulting on strategy with ally organizations in Maine and conducting research into policy and public opinion”.
The fact that the MPA had to conduct polling to decide which issue to run this campaign against shows that they are more concerned with disrupting the legislative process than actually restoring same-day registration.
The Maine Heritage Policy Center released polling recently that shed more light on the reality of the same-day registration issue. What they found further reinforces the fact that this referendum has no basis in actual voter concern. In fact, their research shows that Mainers strongly support the legislature’s action to repeal same-day registration, along with further measures to ensure the integrity of our electoral process.
It is becoming clear that the people of Maine and the Maine People’s Alliance share little in common.
In the case of the Brunswick demonstration, the MPA staffers assumed the roles of outraged citizens to spread the idea that Mainers were rising up in anger against Bank of America. The MPA’s contrivance couldn’t be further from reality. Like citizens all over Maine, most people in Brunswick desperately hope Bank of America does not include their local branch in the 30,000 layoffs the company announced earlier this month. Play acting an angry mob and shutting down business at the bank doesn’t seem like a helpful move when jobs are in the balance.
In the case of the Yes on 1 campaign, MPA’s dishonesty is rampant. They are making absurd claims of ‘thousands of volunteers’ to draw people to a cause that they themselves don’t even seem to have earnest regard for: they needed polling data and focus groups to even get interested in it. Reports abound of misleading signature-gatherers, making outrageous claims about the new law. The MPA has openly claimed disenfranchisement of elderly voters, despite the fact that elderly voters represent only about 1% of same-day registrants. The MPA and its allies have also continued to make the false statement that same-day registration has increased voter turnout in Maine, despite clear statistical evidence that turnout has remained constant for decades. These false claims, and a continued mantra of ‘voter suppression’, show how little regard the MPA has for honest policy discussion. Fortunately, public sentiment doesn’t appear to be swayed by the MPA’s deceit.
The MPA doesn’t represent the people of Maine. They didn’t represent the people of Maine when they gathered a mob to intimidate bank tellers in Brunswick, and they don’t represent the people of Maine in this contrived referendum to keep municipalities from verifying the integrity of our elections. What they do represent is an impetuous movement of trouble-makers who seem to glory in their ability to be disruptive.
The Maine people aren’t interested in anti-corporate hooliganism, and they aren’t interested in following professional protestors into arbitrary repeal efforts. Maine has more serious issues to attend to, and the MPA would do well to consider a more serious and honest approach to the political process in the future.
Your property tax dollars helping the Maine People's Alliance repeal good common sense legislation.
The MPA crowd and their fellow supporters veto recommendation is based entirely on the usual 'feelings' driven wringing of hands, gnashing of teeth, and wetting of beds:
"Changing same day registration is too hard on the elderly and disabled, who have enough trouble getting to the polls, let alone having to make a separate trip to register."
"It would be just as tough on the strapped hard working people of Maine, many of whom work 2 or 3 jobs, and would find arranging their schedule for separate trips to register before hand in one case and then vote in a separate trip nearly impossible."
"So this amounts to nothing more than voter suppression."
I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong in what follows, but if I'm not, it would seem to completely shatter the arguments being used by the usual suspects.
1) In my town, you can already vote early at the town clerk's office. I feel pretty confident that you could make one visit to the clerk's office, register to vote, and then immediately vote early on the same visit. This would make life easier for the elderly, disabled, and the multi-job holders, since they would have the flexibility of doing both tasks over a number of days, rather than having to do them specifically and only at the polls on election day.
2) I know that the town clerk's office staff visits retirement and nursing homes around town to register and allow voting by residents of those establishments. I've watched them do it in prior elections. As I recall, they use 'absentee ballot' processes. And I also believe it happens before election day. Recently I thought I read that this service is actually required by law, though I haven't followed up on that. None-the-less, this 'stay there - we'll come to you' policy would again seem to negate the arguments of the leaky heart crowd. Actually, it does more than that.....it trumps same day registration at the polls as an accommodation for the frail or otherwise mobility challenged.
One can also download the forms online at the Secretary of State's office, and mail them to the local municipality. If one has no computer, the library in each town generally has one. Most town clerks will also try hard to provide a home visit, or send the forms in the mail, if requested.
From the 2008 election:
New voters advised to register early
Bangor Daily News
OLD TOWN, Maine — The city of Old Town will offer special voter registration hours in advance of the Nov. 4 elections. The registrar of voters will be available on the basement level of the Bangor Savings Bank at 265 Main St. to sign up new voters …
…Registrar Patricia Brochu cautioned that a heavy turnout is expected and new registrations can slow down the voting process.
Maine ACLU calls on secretary of state to apologize to students
By Lindsay Tice, Lewiston Sun Journal
Posted Oct. 18, 2011, at 5:02 a.m.
The ACLU of Maine and two national groups are calling on the secretary of state to apologize to ... Maine university students for telling them they needed to either get a Maine driver’s license and register their vehicles... or relinquish their right to vote here.
... Maine chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU Voting Rights Project, and Demos, a national policy and advocacy organization, said Summers targeted the students... letter ... called “threatening” and “likely to deter them (the students) from exercising their voting rights.”
A statement of the law is "threatening."
"Trespassers will be prosecuted."
"Speed monitored by aircraft."
No wonder the Capitol Park folks flip off any thought of complying.
Lance Dutson does a great job pummeling Matt Dunlap in this debate. We have the least secure voter system in the country and big Wall St. hedge-fund money (Donald $u$$man) wants to keep it that way. Why any Maine voting citizen would be ok with that is beyond me.
WGAN debate part 1
WGAN debate part 2
I love this quote from the former Secretary of State, Matt Dunlap -
"If you hang around a town office on election day, they're not going to be inspecting voter registrations."
Finally, I think he might be beginning to understand. They simply don't have time to inspect them.
The results of not having time to inspect voter registrations, as former SOS Dunlap has also admitted, is a voter registration system based on the honor system.
And this has left us with the least secure voter registration system in the country.
Yet when it came time to verify the signatures on the petition they had no problem with giving the clerks the time to check them out.
Free Press Letter
The synopsis is a previous resident, with apparently no physical ties to Rockport, is denied voting in Rockport by the Town Clerk. They are living on their boat, on a borrowed mooring, and had returned a month earlier after being gone a year.
The man is disgruntled and goes to Camden, where he has a business with a physical address, and is allowed to vote.
The man is advocating for bringing back same day voter registration, but what he did in actuality is show the flaws in the system that would have allowed him to vote twice if not for the attentive town clerk.
These people can't seriously be THAT dumb...can they?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: Hell, yes.
That's bizarre. He has a business address in Camden so he can vote there? Plenty of people live in one town and have businesses in other towns. In Camden, anyway, they can vote in two places. Someone needs to educate the registrar in Camden as to what constitutes residency.
Hey - you mean he could have voted THREE times?? Swell.
And I wonder where else he parked the boat...
When Mass. allows it I will think about consider keeping it here!
Ellsworth American 10/27, Page 27 : No on 1
The synopsis is a previous resident, with apparently no physical ties to Rockport, is denied voting in Rockport by the Town Clerk. They are living on their boat, on a borrowed mooring,
I hope Rockport sends him a bill for the excise tax on the boat just to stick another finger in his eye.
Polls on Question One appear close
NEWS CENTER) -- Two recent polls on Question One, which deals with same day voter registration, show that the Yes side has a very narrow lead.