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Strengthening voting rights and democracy

The For the People Act, S.1 and H.R. 1, would strengthen our democracy. It exposes dark money in politics so the rich cannot buy our elections, ends gerrymandering by establishing non-partisan redistricting commissions, and prohibits campaign spending by foreign nationals. It also prohibits members of Congress from serving on the board of for-profit companies. It mandates automatic voter registration. It establishes a national pathway for clean elections, like the ones we enjoy in Maine.

Sen. Susan Collins should cosponsor this groundbreaking legislation, as Sen. Angus King, Rep. Chellie Pingree, and Rep. Jared Golden have. Maine does well in terms of access to the ballot, but one state alone does not a democracy make. We need every state in the union to have greater voting rights.

Sadly, I am seeing the opposite. It is now illegal in Georgia to give someone in long lines to vote some water (unless it’s given out by a poll worker), but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Since February, there have been omore than 360 voter suppression bills in 43 states. Even in Maine we have such voter suppression legislation proposed, LD 1099, which would require photo identification to vote. Why is there a need for this? Luckily, this bill was rejected and there is legislation to expand access to the ballot, LD 1126, which would make voter registration automatic.

People should call Collins and ask her to support S. 1, the For the People Act. They should tell their state legislators to support LD 1126.

Samantha Le

Bangor

Is it just greed?

Listening to President Joe Biden the other night was a refreshing change from the drivel we’d been subjected to for the last four years. But as a lifelong Democrat, there were things I didn’t quite understand.

How can someone put people making $400,000 a year be in the same tax bracket as

those of us barely able to break the $70,000 mark? I would think that $400K would fit comfortably in the affluent category. I am more concerned with incomes like my wife and I have, incomes that have been dormant for over 30 years, while the cost of living grows out of control.

Imagine, the minimum wage in 2000 was $5.15 an hour, and somehow, back then, we were able to pay the rent and put food on the table, working eight hours. Since then, the cost of living has increased significantly, so in order to live as we did in 2000, the minimum wage would have to be over $20 an hour.

Our $174,000-a-year congressional leaders think a $15 minimum wage is too much? Really?

There are the folks on Social Security who can barely feed themselves, so, what about them? Forget party for a minute. There are CEOs in this country making well over a hundred million dollars annually, so when you hear of these kinds of numbers, you can’t help but wonder where it all went so wrong.

It has always been the worker who made the company successful, so why is it such a task to show employees appreciation, and make sure that salaries are in line with the cost of living? Or is it all just greed?

Doug Davis

Windham

More COVID-19 data needed

Why are people over the age of 60 still dying of COVID-19 in Maine?

Either they haven’t taken the initiative to get vaccinated, or they’ve been vaccinated and still died. More data!

Tom Taylor

Orland