Write-in for president

If the people wish to write in a name of a presidential candidate when we vote, how can we make it count? What is the quickest way to promote one or two names that would make a difference and keep everyone on the same page and make our vote count?

Many do not want the presidential candidates as it now stands. How can we make our vote count for another candidate and get others on board? Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, who would make a real difference? Is there a name and person who most of the people would respect and believe in?

If I were a politician I would feel very embarrassed to accept a raise when all cost-of-living raises have been stopped for seniors, the disabled and children for more than three years. How can they live with themselves?

This country was founded on Christian faith and family. They are the foundation that built this country. The political actions of recent years are the worst example of co-dependency. We can help others. Help with the basics of survival and then free others to grow and learn at their own pace.

We need to set a better example for all to be proud of and take care of our people and responsibilities to our people and country.

Roberta Philbrook

Holden

Does ‘Republican’ mean extreme?

Why is the Republican message so often aggressive and hateful? The call to neuter this and deport that, and the labels, name-calling and racial slurs only serve to divide people more. Those with whom don’t agree become the subject of jeers and sneers or perhaps a rude T-shirt or bumper sticker, even if it speaks counter to the principles for which we all claim to stand — law and order, freedom and decency.

How about the pope’s message on caring for God’s gifts of the Earth and its creatures, including all humans. Is he being kicked out of the club?

Now, there is a new leader rallying the cry to further such un-American sentiment. His followers are claiming the movement as that of the Republican Party. The electoral process aside, it is not. We owe thanks to such leaders as Sen. Susan Collins who have dared to speak out and make that clear.

America is already great. It became great by doing such things as standing against the atrocities in World War II, and when it cooperated with rather than competed with the rest of the free world.

Perhaps if you find yourself expressing anger and hate, (and fear) and displaying it on your vehicles and clothing, you might ask if it feels like you have slipped a little toward the dark side. Is that what you want for your personal future and that of your country and your children, and your party for that matter?

Paul Potvin

Hampden

Fulford for Maine’s health

I am a registered nurse in Waldo County and care for very sick patients. I teach my patients they have choices for improving their lives. My profession calls it better outcomes.

Our political system is broken and like the chronically ill patient. We as voters play a role in that dysfunction. We need to make changes. Real, lasting changes are the way to ensure a healthy democratic process continues. Without willingness to change, we are like the chronically ill patient who refuses to stop behaviors that contribute to their illness.

I attended events in Philadelphia during the Democratic National convention. As an independent documentarian, I captured the pulse of ordinary Americans and their sentiments regarding our deteriorating democracy. I heard passionate Americans stress the importance of getting involved on a local level. Like individual health, a healthier political system starts at home. It’s simple: If our bodies are sick, we make choices to improve our health. If our system of representation is sick, we need to create change.

I am voting for Democrat Jonathan Fulford for the Maine Senate this November. As a Clean Elections candidate, he will represent the people of Waldo County without any debt of gratitude to big corporations.

I know this resonates with many people. Join me in making the change that will resuscitate our democracy. I believe it starts with getting money out of politics. Let’s work together for better outcomes.

Andrea Crosby

Montville

Better voting system

I am writing to support ranked-choice voting, which can make Maine elections more competitive, informative, and civil, and more likely to elect candidates who represent a majority of voters.

My support stems from Portland’s mayoral races, which were civil and informative. Furthermore, my neighbors were accepting of the results, regardless of how they voted. The ballot was simple, even with 15 candidates.

Unfortunately, nine of the 11 Maine gubernatorial elections since 1974 have resulted in winners elected by less than 50 percent of voters and pursuit of policies lacking general support from the electorate. The current system discourages third-party candidates and “spoiler effects” discourage voters from supporting them.

Dissatisfaction with the major parties, too much money in politics, and negative campaigning suggest a need for more diverse and civil candidates. With ranked-choice voting, voters can express their support of multiple candidates in order of preference. If you vote for a candidate who doesn’t get many votes and is eliminated in the first round of counting, your second choice gets your vote in the next round — and so forth until the tabulators arrive at a round where one candidate gets 50 percent of the vote.

Ranked-choice voting will not solve all election problems, but it moves us in the right direction. I encourage Maine voters to learn more about ranked-choice voting so they can cast an informed vote on Question 5 in November.

Valerie Kelly

Peaks Island

Support for Zeigler

I am writing to endorse my former fellow crewmember, Capt. Stan Zeigler, who is running for the Maine House in District 96.

Since Zeigler retired he seems hell bent on public service and I think he would do a great job. I sailed with Zeigler as my first officer for more than 20 years through storms, icebergs and pirate attacks, so I think he should be able to handle the Legislature. He was always a hard worker and the crew respected him.

Capt. James O’Loughlin

Spring Valley, California