Maine has never been more politically divided than it is today. In 2016, nearly 335,000 Mainers voted for Donald Trump, while roughly 360,000 voted for Hillary Clinton. This is one of the closest margins Maine has observed in a presidential race.
What is even more astounding about 2016 is how votes were spread geographically across the state: Only coastal counties went blue, while everywhere else went red. As a result of Maine’s Congressional District Method of allocating Electoral College votes, one of four Maine electoral votes went to Trump (even though he lost the popular vote).
Inland counties celebrated this instance as a victory for the Electoral College system. Coastal Democrats, however, didn’t see it that way.
Since the 2016 election, the Democrats of Maine have been attempting to pass a National Popular Vote bill. Up until now, these efforts have been in vain. Earlier this month, however, Maine Senate Democrats passed it. The bill will now go to the blue-controlled House and then onto the desk of democratic Gov. Janet Mills.
If signed into law, Maine’s electoral votes will be ceded to a compact made up of blue states such as New York, Illinois and California — all of which have already signed on. A Republican-controlled state has yet to join.
In effect, what this bill would do is completely prevent Maine from voting for Trump in 2020. Also, Maine’s voting power would be diminished and ceded to a handful of Democratic-run cities hundreds of miles away.
Maine’s 1st Congressional District is fine with this — they weren’t going to vote for Trump anyway. But why should the 2nd Congressional District allow this to happen?
Why should the counties in the district that voted for Trump in 2016 stand by idly as the Democrats nullify their vote for the 2020 election?
They shouldn’t and they don’t need to. They can stop all this, but they must act quickly and deliberately.
The House is set to consider this bill soon. By then the counties of the 2nd District must have signed onto their own compact and pledged to “separate from the state of Maine” if L.D. 816 passes.
This is a drastic measure, but it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, the Dirigo state’s voting power and sovereignty will be swallowed whole by the Democratic political machine.
Jack Salamone is a political writer and journalist from South Portland.