We senior citizens are not stupid. We have been voting for many years and know that we are already registered and do not need to register again in order to vote. The information we see and hear sounds like we must register before we can vote at least two days before every election. Yes, if you move to another town you must register in that town.

I’m voting no, please join me and vote no on Question 1.

Elaine Bridge


As I stood in front of the Falmouth Town Hall on Friday, the only day I had some spare time to register my car, I was frustrated that the offices were closed. The whole place is shut tight on Fridays.
It struck me that many towns throughout our state have furlough days, and some smaller towns may have town offices open only a few days per week. I thought of working people throughout Maine who may have only a few minutes or hours out of a busy work week, whose jobs don’t offer them the flexibility to get to their town halls to do business when the offices are open.

Voter registration is one of the items of business that can’t be done online, as so many things like fishing and hunting licenses and car registration (assuming you are not new in town) can. Imagine the frustration of coming to the town hall to register to vote and being closed out because the offices are closed.

Without the opportunity to register to vote on Election Day, the overwhelming tendency would be to skip the whole thing and not vote. The recently passed law by the Legislature discourages voting, and should be repealed.

A free society should strive to facilitate a citizen’s opportunity and obligation to participate in civic matters. I urge every Maine voter to stand up for fairness and help repeal the law forbidding same-day voter registration.

Peter K. Shaw, M.D.


In 2010, with only a small percentage of registrations checked, six non-U.S. citizens were found to be registered to vote in Maine. In three general elections there were more people registered to vote than there were eligible voters in the state.

Requiring people to register to vote two business days prior to elections is a very small step in trying to insure that our registration system is efficient and that it does not disenfranchise Maine voters. I find it very curious that the Democrat Party would encourage voter registration inefficiency and potential disenfranchisement. I wonder what their motive is? Please vote NO ON 1. Secure Maine voter rights.

Gordon Colby


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a proverb many of us grew up with. Despite that common-sense admonition, Charlie Webster, the state Republican chairman, appears to be driven by another agenda.
Same-day registration has worked so well, why would he want to reduce voter participation by making it more difficult and more costly for all concerned? My 10 years as a district attorney, and many more fighting and then representing major corporations over discrimination make this old retired attorney very suspicious.

Mr. Webster alleges fraud from same-day registration, despite the Republican secretary of state’s investigation, which found only three proven cases in 38 years; evidence that should calm the most nervous nelly.

Apparently what frightens Mr. Webster is a vision of busloads of Canadians coming to our communities with the express intention of rigging our elections. I am certain this idea would come as an insult to the many Canadians who come here to enjoy their vacation in our beautiful state, shop at Hannaford’s and other businesses.

As to his fantasy about fraudulent student voting, that too has proved a nonstarter. Shouldn’t we be proud and want that students we are educating in Maine schools to acquire that sense of civic duty and responsibility that compels their voter participation even as they pursue their chosen fields of study? Can’t we hope that their experiences in Maine will influence them to settle down here, bringing their talents and benefiting all of us?

Let us hope that something more sinister isn’t motivating Mr. Webster and those who share this desire to restrict voting by creating barriers that may appear reasonable at first blush, but which only serve to hide the real intent, which is to prevent certain people from voting.

J.W. Wortman


Requiring one to register to vote a few days before the election is a very reasonable requirement that was put into place to protect the election process.
Most other states, including Massachusetts and New York, require registrations as much as 30 days before an election. Surely, Maine’s requirement to register two days ahead cannot be considered disenfranchisement.

This is just one small step that our state should be allowed to take to ensure that voting is an orderly process. We can all agree that votes should be cast in a deliberate manner and that naturally involves a conscientious effort to get registered to exercise that right. Let’s also realize that registration is a one-time requirement if you change your town of residence, so it is not something that has to be done every year. Consequently, “No on 1” is the way to protect your vote.

Burnell Bailey

South Berwick

Same-day voter registration works and it has worked for almost 40 years.

It’s a shame that for some, the idea of voter access has become a partisan issue. When same-day voter registration was passed in 1973, it was sponsored by a Republican and won bipartisan support.
Since then, it has worked to help tens of thousands of Mainers – Republicans, Democrats, Greens and unenrolled voters – to register and vote.

I’m a registered Republican and despite the fact that many in my party feel strongly about this issue, I believe that same-day registration shouldn’t be partisan. More participation by voters is better, regardless of party affiliation.

Same-day voter registration ensures that as many voters as possible are heard. It has helped Maine to become a national leader in voter participation, ranking first in the nation last year. Our elections are fair and the envy of the country.

Other states should follow our lead on same-day voter registration, not the other way around.
On Election Day, I’ll be voting yes on Question 1.

Charles Zaccaria

South Portland

Wall Street hedge fund manager, S. Donald Sussman, husband of Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, has donated nearly $300,000 to the Yes on One campaign. He obviously doesn’t like the new law, so he did what he always does, he wrote out a check. This money, combined with other large out-of-state donations is being used to repeal the much needed election reform that was passed by our Legislature last spring.

I will be voting no on Question 1 because I feel that the benefit of being able to register and vote on Election Day does not protect the integrity of the election process. Town clerks and volunteers have their hands full on Election Day checking people in to vote, counting absentee ballots, assisting voters and answering questions. I would also encourage the Legislature to pass voter ID in their next session.

Deb Kent


Many people are worried that Maine’s new voter registration law will make voting difficult for working people if they are not allowed to register to vote on Election Day. Here are two easy solutions, if the law is not repealed:

1. As soon as the absentee ballots are printed, you can go to your city or town clerk, fill out your registration card and fill out your absentee ballot on the spot. So, you can register and vote on the same day. Or,

2. Call your city or town clerk and ask them to mail you a voter registration card. After you fill it out, mail it back, and ask the clerk’s office to mail you an absentee ballot.

Either way, you would no longer need to fret about registering at the polling place on Election Day.

Tom Elliman


Writer rethinks column about ranked-coice voting

We write to correct the Oct. 7 column written by one of this letter’s co-authors (“Ranked choice voting: the ‘break,’ tactical voting and coalition building”).

In that commentary, Jack O’Brien attempted to outline some of the various strategies that candidates might theoretically employ in conducting their campaigns. Most unfortunately, this commentary was based on another form of ranked voting system, not the ranked choice voting system used in Portland. This creates the two impressions we seek to dispel: 1) that ranked choice voting is not an improvement over a traditional “vote-for-one” plurality voting system: 2) that voters might be wise to not vote sincerely for qualified candidates for mayor.

In the Portland model of ranked choice voting, there is no advantage – to a certainty – in any strategy involving limiting one’s rankings to advance the interests of any candidate, so called “bullet voting.” Doing so only minimizes the influence voters would have in the outcome.

We hope that readers of this letter to do two things on Nov. 8: Cast a vote for your new mayor after researching the candidates and enjoy the opportunity to rank them in sincere order of preference.

Dr. Jack O’Brien

University of Oxford


Rob Richie

Executive director of FairVote.org

Takoma Park, Md.