Currently showing posts tagged Maine elections

  • Your vote will honor the service of veterans

    Much is at stake, do your part as a citizen by voting this Election Day

     Editorial by Representative John Schneck of Bangor.

    In the coming week, Americans will mark two days that are significant to our democracy: Election Day and Veterans Day. On Tuesday, millions of Americans will make their voices heard at the polls. On Friday, we honor those who served to protect our nation and our freedoms. I urge you to participate in both.

     I’m honored to be a member of the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, which deals with veterans issues as well as policy around elections, campaign practices and voter registration. I’m especially proud of our work this year on new laws spearheaded by Democrats that help Maine keep up with the changing needs of Maine veterans, combat homelessness and address their higher education and transportation needs.


    As a veteran, a state lawmaker and a citizen, it’s been wonderful to see how engaged Mainers are this election season. You can see it in the large numbers of absentee ballots requested and cast, in the debates among candidates and in the day-to-day conversations with friends and neighbors.


    There’s a lot at stake this year, from who we put in the White House to who’ll be on our towns’ school boards.


    And, of course, voters will also decide what kind of Maine Legislature we’ll have for the next two years.


    Those decisions will affect how we educate our children and prepare them for the working world, whether Augusta shifts costs to local property taxpayers and whether we can achieve true welfare reform that moves people out of poverty and into sustainable employment – and that creates accountability and effectiveness throughout the system.


    I served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and I’m proud to serve in the Legislature alongside other veterans. Among House Democrats, we have veterans of the Army, Navy and Marines, veterans who also served in the Vietnam era, a younger veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the co-chair of the Legislature’s Veterans Caucus and a recipient of the Bronze Star.


    I know that each and every one of them wants voters to participate in our democracy.


    Meanwhile, some highly visible politicians are trying to cast doubt about the integrity of our election system. They’re trying to dissuade – even intimidate – voters from exercising their rights. They’re trying to undermine our American tradition of peaceful transfers of power.


    We’ve got to stand up against this. We’ve all got to live up to our responsibilities as citizens. So please do your part by voting this Tuesday. Your actions will honor the service of our veterans.

  • Special Elections in Maine House Districts 19, 23 see democratic wins and hope for the future

    By Ramona du Houx

    Special Elections in Maine House Districts 19, 23 see democratic wins and bring hope for the future.

    "Congratulations to candidates Lester Ordway of Standish and Matthew Harrington of Sanford," said House Speaker Mark Eves, D- North Berwick. "These were highly contested, very close, hard fought races in swing and Republican leaning districts." 

    Democrats hold the majority in the Maine House with a 78 seat majority.  There are four independents and 69 Republicans. 

    Republicans will likely challenge the victory of Ordway in Standish, District 19.

    "We expect a recount in House District 19, where the margin of victory was 15 votes. Regardless of the results, we must all come together to grow good jobs and strong wages in our state," said Eves.

    Democrats have hopes of increasing House members in the 2016 elections and reclaiming the State Senate, thereby enabling the legislature with the ability to over-ride Gov. LePage's veto on the Affordable Care Act expansion that would cover 70,0000 Mainers still without health insurance. 

    The ACA has proven it's effectiveness in other states while bringing funds in as state revenue.

    Dirigo Health Care Act, of Governor John Baldacci, covered more Mainers and increased healthcare outcomes, putting Maine in a list for of the 10 best states for healthcare coverage. But when LePage took office he eliminated Dirigo, put Maine near the bottom of the list, and put thousands of Mainer's health at risk.

  • September 19th was Day of Action for strengthening Maine's Clean Election system

    Hundreds of Mainers from across the state took to the streets September 19, 2015, knocking on doors and talking to friends, neighbors and community members about Question 1, which will appear on the statewide ballot on November 3.

    “Mainers agree that we want a government that works for us, not one that works for lobbyists and wealthy campaign contributors,” said Andrew Bossie of Mainers for Accountable Elections. “Question 1 is about ensuring our elections are focused on everyday people and less dependent on wealthy special interest. This effort of, by, and for the people will increase transparency and accountability by limiting the influence of wealthy special interests in our elections and government.”

    Their work was part of an “Of, By and For the People Day of Action” planned by Mainers for Accountable Elections, the nonpartisan, grassroots coalition formed in support of Question 1. 

    “This is a grassroots, people powered campaign,” said Bossie. “It’s not about the 1 percent or the 99 percent, it’s about the 100 percent. It’s about a government that works for all of us. Question 1 will raise the voices of everyday Mainers in our democracy and that’s why Democrats, Republicans, Greens and independents are working together to vote ‘yes’ on Question 1 on November 3.” 

    For today’s day of action, volunteers gathered at staging locations in Sanford, Biddeford, Portland, Augusta, Belfast, Bangor, Ellsworth and Bar Harbor. They then hit the streets to canvass in support of Question 1, which has developed a strong coalition of support from Democrats, Republicans, Greens, independents and more than 40 grassroots organizations throughout Maine.  

    If passed on November 3, Question 1 will:

    • Increase transparency and disclosure by requiring special interest groups to list their top three donors on all political ads so voters know right away who is trying to influence their vote.

    • Increase accountability by toughening penalties and fines for candidates and special interest groups that break our campaign finance laws so politicians are accountable to the people – not wealthy special interests.

    • Encourage strict spending and contribution limits by strengthening Maine's Clean Election system so candidates aren’t beholden to special interests and big money donors.