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National Voter Registration Day aims to ease lines on the big day

Mainers can register in person or by mail.

LEWISTON, Maine — Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day across the United States, as city and state officials push to get as many Mainers registered as they can before they get to the polls.

Maine offers same-day registration, but Lewiston City Clerk Kathy Montejo said the more people who register now in her city, the easier it will be for voters on the big day. She said her election volunteers will have to handle 20,000 potential voters trying to cast ballots across seven wards in Lewiston.

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"It’s going to make it easier for the citizen volunteers who work at the polls if we can get voter registration done in the month of September," Montejo said. "So, we’re really trying to promote that. Even though today is the national day, really, any time in the month of September we would love to have folks update their voter registration."

Montejo believes early registration would make things easier, in part, because Lewiston and towns across the U.S., are dealing with poll worker turnover.

"We typically, pre-COVID, would have an average turnover about 10-15 percent," she said. "Folks get older or they have medical issues or whatnot. Since COVID, folks are a little more nervous to work at the polls, understandably."

Secretary of State Shenna Bellows remained confident her clerks will have enough poll workers to run a smooth election, pointing to a successful June primary. 

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She hoped Mainers would take advantage of early registration at their town office, the BMV if they’re renewing a license, or by printing and mailing in a registration card from the state's website.

No matter how Mainers register to vote, they’ll need to provide proof of ID and residence. A driver’s license can accomplish both at once.

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