State House Notebook: Voting a vital right for the homeless

AUGUSTA — Arguments about who should and shouldn’t be allowed to vote in Maine have raged all summer and will culminate with a statewide referendum Nov. 8 on the law passed in June to eliminate same-day voter registration, which has been allowed for 38 years.

A flap over a GOP news release last week criticizing 19 voters who registered in 2004 using a hotel address initially generated speculation that they were homeless voters. (It later became apparent that they were medical students who left Grand Cayman Island because of a hurricane.)

As it turns out, everyone apparently agrees that homeless Mainers deserve the right to vote.

“I don’t think that’s an issue. I think homeless people should be able to vote. I think people who are living in a homeless shelter should be able to vote,” said Charlie Webster, chairman of the Maine Republican Party and the most vociferous supporter of the law to eliminate same-day voter registration.

Click for more the notebook entries by Portland Press Herald staffers.

 

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