"Vote Yes on One" group rallies in Farmington to restore Election Day registration

FARMINGTON — Thirty Franklin County residents bearing homemade signs telling people to “Vote Yes on One” paraded through town Saturday in a rally to restore Election Day voter registration.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Bob and Rita Kimber of Temple walk along Main Street in Farmington on Saturday, joining other Franklin County residents in a rally to restore Election Day voter registration.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

During a "Yes on One" rally on Saturday in Farmington, former Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, standing on a chair, tells about 60 people inside the Wicked Gelato Cafe why Election Day voter registration matters.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Henry Braun, left, of Weld and Maxine Collins of Wilton walk along Main Street on Saturday in Farmington, participating in a rally and walk to restore Election Day registration.

Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Participants in Saturday's "Yes on One" rally and walk to restore Election Day registration gather for a group portrait in the Farmington Park 'n' Ride lot at the junction of Routes 2, 4 and 27.

Some softly chanted, “We will occupy; we will occupy.”

Others raised voices to drivers on Routes 4 and 27, telling them to vote yes while vigorously pumping their signs up and down for emphasis.

Along the chilly walk from the Farmington Park 'n' Ride lot to Meetinghouse Park, where they met rally rouser Janet Mills, their ranks swelled to 45.

“I'm appalled, as I'm sure you are, by recent TV ads and inserts in the newspapers (saying) that they are protecting ethics,” said Mills, Maine's former attorney general.

She was referring to the political action committee Secure Maine’s Ballot, which opposes referendum Question 1. The people's veto seeks to protect Maine's 38-year-old law allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day. Approval of Question 1 would repeal a law passed by the Legislature to end same-day registration.

The PAC opposing the repeal has aired a 15-second ad that claims outside interests are trying to get rid of Maine's "ethics law."

“We are the ones that are protecting ethics, protecting the rights of our voters, old and young!” Mills yelled to several shouts of, “Right on!”

“This is Franklin County, Maine! We do it with integrity and we do it right!” Mills said.

Walking two abreast up and down sidewalks lining Broadway and chanting, “Vote Yes on One,” the group noisily strolled to the Post Office where they held another loud rally.

Afterward, they went to the Wicked Gelato Cafe on Main Street to listen to former Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap explain why Election Day registration matters.

Dunlap, who walked with the group from the Park 'n' Ride lot carrying a sign that read, “Voting (as American as Apple Pie),” climbed and stood on a chair proffered by Mills and stridently shared what he had to say.

“Every American citizen has an unimpeachable right to vote!” Dunlap, of Old Town, yelled to applause.

“It cannot be taken away," he said. "It's guaranteed in the Constitution. Any barrier that we put before a voter must be very, very thoughtfully considered.”

Election Day registration is important because the more people who participate in the process, the more legitimate it is, Dunlap said.

“If you close anyone off, you bring into question the integrity of the process," he said. "This is about the right of the people to have their voice heard.”


Terry Karkos/Sun Journal

Jack Roth, left, of Wilton and Anne Geller, chairwoman of the Franklin County Democrats, lead a group through Farmington on Saturday in a rally to restore Election Day voter registration.

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 's picture

Voter registration

Another attempt to corrupt our voting system. This has been pushed by
the national Democratic Party as a useful tool when they feel its needed.
It’s easier to register dead people when there isn’t a means to verify the information on voting day. The solution is to have a resident database on a computer to verify anyone who wants to vote on election day. If you not on that list than no vote. If you aren’t responsible enough to pre-register then you don’t deserve to vote in that election. You have given up your voting rights by not following the rules that everyone else is required to follow.

Jennifer Chretien's picture

I've read several

I've read several opinion/letter to the editor pieces about this ballot question. I can see the argument on both sides. Being able to register to vote on election day does make it easier for people, where as registering prior to can help to minimize potential voter fraud. However I can't say that I believe that this law takes away our fundemental right to vote as I've heard people claim, you can still vote. I think what it does is give us a responsibility to get to the town office before election day if we want to vote. This is America where we want the rights with no responsibilities. This is just my opinion. I'm not saying I agree with the law nor am I telling people how to vote. I'm just saying putting the requirement to register before election day to me does not equal taking away your right to vote.


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