Yesterday I talked to a Republican I admire and respect who shared with me his commitment to supporting the campaign to restore same day voter registration.  His comments echoed the public comments of Republican college student, Kevin Price, on his blog in support of same day voter registration. 

"For the past four years I have been a registered Republican in a college town and as frustrating as it often can be to go up against the liberal leanings of the area, restricting voting access is wrong and will not change the outcome of elections."

A remarkable aspect of the petition gathering to me has been the depth of support across party lines.  Last weekend I stood in a WalMart parking lot in Waterville gathering signatures for about an hour until the oppressive heat did me in.  In less than an hour, 22 people with bumper stickers of all persuasions signed eagerly.  Only three people turned me down.   On Sunday night, I canvassed my own neighborhood in Manchester.  Almost everyone -- the artist, the business executive, the Christian counselor, the senior citizen with disabilities, and the young parents with kids -- signed my petition. 

The accusations made by Charlie Webster this week targeting college students are deeply troubling.  As the Bangor Daily News said today, "Voter fraud is a serious charge. Leveling it at college students without real evidence is irresponsible and counterproductive."

As the Bangor Daily News further points out, regardless of what you think about whether college students should be able to vote in the town where they go to school, that's not the issue at hand.  The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1979 that students may vote where they go to school.   It's not fraud for them to do exactly that.

The good news is that people don't seem to be buying unfounded accusations.   Perhaps because here in Maine, we know our friends and neighbors.  As Kevin Price points out, "Reading through this list I could easily identify two friends of mine who are accused to have committed voter fraud. How do I know that they did not commit voter fraud? I helped them register to vote several weeks prior to the 2010 election and explained that they could only vote in Maine (which they already were well aware of), they also happen to both have registered as Republicans."

We have just over a week left to finish the signature gathering.  Sign up at to volunteer!