Late messaging on election day registration: welfare and the gays


No on 1 pulls out the stops. A new day for Maine politics?

– UPDATE: November 7, 9 PM, see bottom of post –


With Question 1 to be voted on tomorrow, the No on 1 campaign is going all out, linking the restoration of the 38 year practice of same-day voter registration to welfare and the gays.

This follows on the heels of deceptive ads from unknown out of state groups that falsely claim that Yes is an effort of people from away to undermine Maine’s ethics laws.

So there are now two new strategies.

One is to characterize the supporters of election day registration “the welfare coalition.” This coalition includes an array of groups, including left/progressive organizations but also the League of Women Voters, the Maine Municipal Association, and OneMaine.

The other is to tie Yes on 1 to one of its coalition partners — Equality Maine. This is the group that seeks equal marriage rights for gay men and lesbians. The ad is posted at Dirigo Blue.

The welfare characterization is included in the email posted below.

Maine Republican Party





To: Activists and Supporters

From: Charlie Webster



On Election Day, tomorrow Maine people will be voting to protect the integrity of all future elections in our State.


Make no mistake; your NO on Question # 1 vote is important.

Question #1 would repeal a modest law passed by our Legislature which ends the practice of Same Day Voter Registration in Maine.

The Legislature passed this new law after Secretary of State Charlie Summers confirmed that election clerks needed additional time to prepare for Maine elections.

At the time few could have known that of the hundreds of new laws enacted by the Legislature, Maine liberals would choose this law to attempt an “Peoples Veto”.

The obvious question is why did the Democrats and their “welfare coalition” raise and spend over $600,000 to repeal this moderate change in election law. A law to finally bring Maine in line with 42 other states in the country.

The “welfare coalition”, 18 of the most extreme liberal groups in Maine (most who survive based on taxpayer funding) joined together to repeal this election law. Their funding includes the Who’s Who of the Professional Left including a $285,000 donation from Hedge Fund Billionaire Donald Sussman and tens of thousands from Big Labor and out of state unions.

The simple fact is that for nearly 40 years the Democrats in Maine controlled the Legislative agenda. They created the programs, enacted the laws, and created a welfare state. They worked against Maine small business and taxed our working people at rates among the highest in the nation.

They fail to realize that Maine people wanted change and Republicans offered a reasonable alternative to their left of center philosophy.

On Tuesday, I ask that you send a message to the Democrats and the special interest groups that control the modern Maine Democratic Party. This ‘coalition’ built to repeal this common sense election law change should in itself prove to working people that the Democrats have abandoned the working class.

The idea that a political party would support a policy that didn’t make every effort to protect the security of our ballot should concern us all. Every effort must be made to guarantee that only citizens of our State and communities vote in our elections, and that they only vote once.

The election law that Question #1 would repeal is a common sense law that protects the security of Maine elections.

I believe that any special interest group that would spend thousands of dollars to repeal this law must have a hidden agenda!

I don’t know why they chose this issue, but I am convinced that they didn’t do so because they believe in same day voter registration.

I urge you to vote NO on 1, and help secure Maine’s ballot, it’s simply common sense!



charlie signature

P.S. Our Governor Paul LePage understands just how important a No on Question 1 vote is too. CLICK HERE to listen to what Governor LePage has to say


P.P.S. Please forward this email to your friends and family and be sure they go to the polls and vote No on 1!










UPDATE: Not only is the Maine Republican party linking supporters of election day registration to “welfare,” but they are also responsible for the ad tying EDR to gay rights. Evidence for this is below.



It is also worth noting that the Treasurer of the No on 1 group, Harold Clough, told Gerald Weinand that “NO on 1 – secure Maine’s ballot, was definitely not involved with this advertisement,” and that he personally finds the ad “distasteful and irrelevant.”




Maine’s Ethics Commission issued the following statement. The link to the campaign finance report goes to a filing from the Maine Republican Party that shows their purchases of ads in the local papers where this ad ran.




“The staff of the Ethics Commission would like to respond to concerns that some members of the public have brought to our attention. A political advertisement recently ran in a number of weekly community newspapers about the upcoming people’s veto regarding same day voter registration – Question 1. Because the Ethics Commission’s website address is listed at the bottom of the ad, some members of the public have wondered whether the Ethics Commission is responsible and paid for the ad.

The Ethics Commission is not responsible for the ad. The ad was paid for by a ballot question committee opposing the people’s veto. Click here to view the committee’s campaign finance report.

The Commission’s website address was apparently included in the ad as a source of some of the information in the ad.

The Ethics Commission does not take positions on ballot questions and does not run paid political advertisements in the media.”


Amy Fried

About Amy Fried

Amy Fried loves Maine's sense of community and the wonderful mix of culture and outdoor recreation. She loves politics in three ways: as an analytical political scientist, a devoted political junkie and a citizen who believes politics matters for people's lives. Fried is Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Her views do not reflect those of her employer or any group to which she belongs.