Hypocrisy is certainly not a new thing in politics. But the reason I call it out here over this story is due to the hypocrisy impacting the voting process itself, something that I find very troubling when tampered with.
In Wisconsin we take it as a right to be able to register on the day of voting. Maine had a similar right until June when Republicans started playing their unusual games.
Same-day voter registration was eliminated with the passage of LD 1376 in June. Both votes in the House and Senate fell sharply along party lines. Since the bill’s passage, Protect Maine Votes has gathered the necessary signatures to force a statewide people’s veto.
Members of the coalition hoping to restore same-day voter registration in Maine released information early Tuesday detailing legislators who voted to eliminate same-day registration but registered to vote on or near Election Day themselves.
In addition to numerous members of the House and Senate whose registration would not have been allowed under current law, Gov. Paul LePage, (a true conservative Neanderthal) who signed the bill eliminating same-day registration, registered to vote in Waterville on the day before Election Day in 1982.
So why would some in Maine work to not allow voters to register at the time of voting? According to David Farmer, communications director for Protect Maine Votes who is fighting the Republicans, it appears that the GOP thinks voters are lazy and ill-informed.
“One of the primary arguments made for the repeal of same-day registration is that people who register late don’t care, are lazy or are ill-informed,” Farmer said. “We’ve heard that over and over from the other side. But the fact is, many of the state’s most influential leaders, including the governor, prominent leaders in the Legislature, candidates for public office and business leaders have registered to vote close to Election Day. The day and time you register is not an indicator of your interest in the election.”