The Bangor Daily News will stop accepting letters to the editor and OpEds related to the Nov. 8 election on Wednesday, Nov. 2. We will continue to publish election-related submissions through Saturday, Nov. 5, though due to the volume of submissions, not all can be published.
Election Day registration is bad for Maine, and that’s why I’m voting no on Question 1 on Nov. 8, to secure our votes.
Proponents of Election Day registration have repeatedly claimed that voters will be disenfranchised unless they can wait until Election Day to register and vote. These disenfranchisement claims are simply fear tactics meant to scare people into thinking their votes are under threat.
Here are some important things to remember:
First, 93 percent of all U.S. residents are required to register before Election Day.
Second, our men and women serving in the armed forces are required to request a ballot 45 days in advance of Election Day.
Third, 41 other states require preregistration also — including Massachusetts, New York, and California — some as many as 30 days prior to Election Day.
The idea that Maine voters would somehow be disenfranchised because of a two-day preregistration requirement in order to protect the votes of all Mainers is simply not a serious argument.
Proponents of same-day registration prefer to scare people with untrue accusations. Get the truth and the facts visit www.secureourvotes.com. Please vote no on Question 1.
Let the good times roll
The proposal for a Lewiston casino is the most innovative proposal on the ballot this November. It is also a proposal that benefits the most people and programs in Maine.
Veterans and Indian tribes who have lost bingo business to Hollywood Slots will be reimbursed if Question 3 passes. Roads and bridges will be funded as well as ports and rail lines. Because the casino that would be authorized by Question 3 sends money to all counties to cut property taxes, there is more money for Penobscot County towns outside Bangor than from Hollywood Slots. There is even money in Question 3 for Meals on Wheels and animal shelters.
Lewiston voted for Bangor’s Hollywood Slots and for an earlier casino project in Washington County. Bangor and Down East should vote for Lewiston and the rest of Maine now. Montana has 68 thriving casinos. What makes anyone think Maine can’t support six? Vote yes on Question 3 and let the good times roll.
Take action on heating
Heating costs are rising — 33 percent higher this July than they were a year ago. The Maine economy is stalled and unemployment continues to be a serious problem for many Maine families.
Tragically, at a time when Mainers at the low end of the income scale are struggling harder than ever to keep things going, the federal government is planning to drastically reduce funding of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
I spoke with Kirsten Figueroa, director of energy and housing services in Augusta last week and she said the Obama administration was proposing a 50 percent decrease in funding across the board. Normally the department would know the funding of the program in October. It is hoping for a decision in early November.
The fact that we as a community can “cut loose” those at the bottom of the economic ladder in times like these is deplorable.
I offer some suggestions to those who grasp the situation and want to do something. First, consider taking your minister aside and hand him or her a check and say “this is for your discretionary fund. I want it to go to pay for heating oil for someone who can’t afford to heat their home.”
Alternatively, if you want a more direct “hands on” opportunity, join me and Dick Cadwgan in building and installing window inserts for low-income folks (homeowners and renters). We plan to build 1,000 windows with five build teams and we need additional volunteers. Please call me if you’re interested in joining with us.