For Immediate Release
September 3, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Declares September 2008
"National Voter Registration Month"
Augusta - Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is joining fellow members of the National Association of Secretaries of States (NASS) in declaring September 2008 National Voter Registration Month. Dunlap says, " Maine leads the way in a variety of election-related efforts, and as a result, our state routinely enjoys some of the highest levels of voter participation in the country. I expect that trend to continue with this year's Presidential Election. National Voter Registration Month is a great way to remind everyone about their role in selecting the leaders who will guide our state and our nation into the future."
NASS established National Voter Registration Month to encourage voter participation and to increase awareness of state voter registration requirements. According to U.S. Census figures, 55 million of 197 million eligible voters did not register to vote in 2004. Five percent of non-voters from that year told Census officials they did not know how or where to register to vote.
"The requirements for voting in Maine are simple: you must be registered in the community where you reside, be at least 18 years of age, and you must be a United States citizen," Dunlap explained. 17 year-olds may register to vote as well, if they turn 18 on or before Election Day, November 4, 2008 . Dunlap points out, " Maine doesn't have a registration deadline- we offer Election Day Registration (EDR), meaning people can even register to vote on Election Day." Maine is one of just nine states that currently provide EDR, along with Idaho , Iowa , Minnesota , Montana , New Hampshire , North Carolina , Wisconsin and Wyoming . "To register, a person just needs to fill out a voter registration card, which is available from a local municipal election official," Dunlap said, adding, "a sample voter registration card can be viewed on our website, along with detailed instructions on how to fill out the card." The sample card is part of the State of Maine Voter Guide , available on line here: http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voterguide.html.
"The need for public information and education on voter registration will be extremely critical this year as more than a hundred million Americans prepare to take part in the presidential election," said NASS President Pedro A. Cortés, Pennsylvania Secretary of State. "Thanks to the hard work of state and local election officials, the registration process for new and first-time voters is faster and easier than ever."