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Tuesday June 14, 2011 | 11:51 AM

Rep. Chellie Pingree told a national TV audience Monday night that ending Maine’s same-day voter registration is aimed at a problem that doesn’t exist and is a GOP-inspired maneuver that will suppress the state’s vote count.

The Maine Democrat from the 1st congressional district, who was interviewed on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, said that while Republicans claims voters are improperly bused to the polls, “they really don’t like is student engagement, student voting.”

Asked whether Republicans benefit more from eliminating same-day registration, Pingree said, “They seem to feel they will. They’re the ones really behind this. This was a very partisan vote.”

Democrats and Republicans benefit from more voters being able to go to the polls on Election Day, said Pingree, noting that Gov. Paul LePage won election last year with same-day voter registration in effect.

“I think there have been two cases of voter fraud in our state, only one of which had anything to do with same day registration,” Pingree said. “This is clearly, in my opinion, a way to suppress the vote, to discourage voters. Frankly it’s an attack on working people. Many people don’t have two separate days to get to the polls.”

Pingree said that Maine, is “not a liberal state, we’re not a conservative state. We’re a common sense state and many of these things don’t make any sense to people. It feels a little bit like this is an agenda that came from the outside, this is a very conservative agenda,” Pingree said.

 

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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