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VIDEO: Maine Residents Defend Voting Rights As Same Day Registration Referendum Approaches

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"VIDEO: Maine Residents Defend Voting Rights As Same Day Registration Referendum Approaches"

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This is the fifth installment in an ongoing series on voting rights leading up to Election Day 2011.

Tomorrow, the war on voting rights will descend on Maine as voters determine the fate of their state’s 38 year-old election day voter registration law.

The highly-anticipated vote could set the tone for 2012 as Republicans continue to push legislation that would hinder people’s ability to vote, including photo ID laws, shortened early voting periods, and even new restrictions on registering.

ThinkProgress traveled around Maine last week to get voters’ thoughts about the upcoming referendum. Across the state, voters were outraged that their voting rights were being stripped away by the legislature, potentially resulting in the disenfranchisement of thousands of Mainers. With just two cases of voter fraud in the past 38 years, many were livid that “electoral integrity” was being used as a red herring rationale for rolling back their right to register at the polls.

Watch a short video of Mainers expressing in their own words what election day registration has meant to them and why they want to preserve the law:

Question 1 remains a tight race. As ThinkProgress reported last week, a secret conservative donor has funneled over $250,000 into the state in an effort to get rid of election day registration. In an inexpensive media market like Maine, that money could go a long way to tip the scales in an off-year election.

Still, if Mainers are able to beat back the influence of large, undisclosed donations and pass Question 1, they will have struck a major blow to the GOP effort to restrict voting rights.

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