AUGUSTA – After extensive debate, the Maine Senate voted 18 to 17 in favor of a bill that would eliminate same-day voter registration in an initial vote on Wednesday.

The measure, L.D. 1376, sponsored by House Speaker Bob Nutting, R-Oakland, would also ban absentee voting the two business days before the election.

Supporters say it is aimed to alleviate Election Day burdens on municipal workers, but opponents say it will disenfranchise voters.

The House also offered initial approval for the measure, which faces further votes.