Want to know what the League is up to? Check in here to see what’s shaking! If you’re interested in any of these actions contact us at our new email: YoungVoters207@Gmail.Com or just Tweet/Facebook us like all the cool kids do @MaineLeague Facebook.Com/MaineLeague
Supporters of LD 156: 2012 Elections Commission appointed by 2012 Secretary of State Charlie Summers and chaired by Judge John Atwood; Disability Rights Center; Maine Municipal Association; American Civil Liberties Union of Maine; League of Women Voters of Maine; Maine Women’s Lobby; Speaking Up for Us; Equality Maine, Maine People’s Alliance and the Maine League of Young Voters
What is it?
• Creates an option for towns to adopt “early voting” – the ability to cast a ballot in person before Election Day. Not a mandate!
• Early voting is different from in-person absentee voting because ballots are cast immediately, not put aside at the clerk’s office to be officially cast on Election Day.
• Maine has test-driven early voting programs in 9 communities (Augusta, Bangor, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gorham, Hallowell, Saco, Scarborough, & Standish) with widespread support from all test sites.
Why do we need it?
• Voting is the cornerstone of democracy, and Maine should strive to make it as easy as possible for every qualified person to cast a ballot.
• True early voting would make it easier for senior citizens, people with disabilities, working moms, lower-wage workers, people with limited transportation and all Mainers to vote.
• Early voting will ease long lines on Election Day, making it easier for people to vote that day as well.
• In some towns, absentee ballots account for 60% of votes cast. Early voting reduces the administrative burden on clerks on Election Day.
“I had the honor of chairing the 2012 Elections Commission…the Commission unanimously recommended that the Legislature consider an amendment to our Constitution to allow Early Voting.” – Judge John Atwood, Chair of the 2012 Elections Commission
“During the pilot project many residents expressed that they were pleased for the opportunity to cast their ballot early, and that there were no waiting lines. Still to this day residents ask when we’ll be doing the early voting again.” – Mary Chapman, Town Clerk, Standish
The Maine League of Young Voters strongly supports the citizen-initiated Clean Election Act, and we are proud to work with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections to improve the law.
This week the Legislature will vote on Senator Youngblood’s bill to strengthen Clean Elections, LD 1309. This bill would restore Clean Elections after a court decision overturned part of the law. It’s critical that your senator and representative hear from you now.
Contact your elected officials and tell them that you want a strong Clean Election system, and ask them to support LD 1309.
Maine citizens enacted Clean Elections to help ensure that our government is accountable to voters, not big donors and their lobbyists. LD 1309 will ensure the viability of Clean Elections in legislative and gubernatorial races going forward. That will allow candidates to rely on actual voters – not outside interests – to win and hold elected positions.
Take action today! Thank you!
P.S. Check out MCCE’s latest Money in Politics report showing that proponents of GMO labeling have been outspent by opponents 10 to 1 when it comes to political donations. In some states, that could mean certain failure of labeling legislation. In Maine, 70% of the legislature was elected without special interest money, and that should give us a better shot. Call your legislators today to keep Clean Elections strong and viable!
P.S. Find more information about LD 1309, An Act to Strengthen the Maine Clean Election Act here. Please take action today!
Ever wanted to know what it is like to run a non-profit organization in Maine? Check out this job listing from Emerge Maine!
As an Interim-Executive Director, you can get the hand’s on experience you need to see if non-profit leadership is a career path you want to travel down. Applications are available May 1st, more details below!
Remember what a bummer 2010 was when we learned that governors can be elected with 61% of voters casting a ballot for the other guy (or woman!)?
We sure do. That’s why the League pushed for and won the right to use Ranked Choice Voting in Portland for the 2011 Mayoral race. Turns out, RCV was pretty gosh darned easy and resulted in Mayor Brennan’s election with a majority vote. Pretty rad right?
Now we have a chance to take the state of Maine into the 21st Century by passing one of four different Ranked Choice Voting bills that are being debated up at the State House this year.
On Monday, April 22nd, the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee will be hearing a whole host of bills around this superior method of voting that requires a majority vote (51%) to win an election.
Obviously, Governor Lepage has a pretty strong incentive to veto any bill that would ensure his defeat in the 2014 gubernatorial race so the time has come to call on our legislators to raise the alarm and represent us on this issue by supporting just ONE of these four bills:
● LD 1358 “An Act To Ammend The Election Laws To Require A Run-off Election for Governor”
● LD 860 “An Act To Require that the Governor, Senators and Members of the House of Representatives Be Elected by the Ranked-Choice Voting Method”
● LD 518 “An Act To Establish Ranked-choice Voting in the State”
● LD 1219 “An Act to Establish a Run-off Process for the Election of the Governor, United States Sentaor or United States Representative”
These bills ensure that a majority vote elects our officials. Ranked choice voting is the best way to support a strong democracy and ensure that the voices of all voters are heard. Stand up and be counted to avoid another Lepage nightmare. Here are the two things we need you to do before Monday:
1. CALL your legislators now and tell them: Act now to support ranked choice voting!
2. Post this meme to your Facebook and Twitter and encourage your friends to do so too!
Want to know what the League is up to this week? Check out these cool opportunities to get involved and make your voice heard! If you’re interested in any of these actions contact YoungVoters207@Gmail.Com
3) Attend From our Homelands to the Tar Sands: Perspectives from Alberta and Maine
What: From Our Homelands to the Tar Sands: Perspectives from Alberta and Maine.
When: Wednesday, April 7th, 7pm
Where: Hannaford Hall, USM Abromson Center, Portland
Workers pay into Medicare and Social Securi
ty during their working lives, and they count on the programs to help protect their financial and health security in their later years. These health and retirement benefits become even more important as employer-based retirement plans and retiree health benefits decline, home values fall, retirement savings shrink and health care costs rise.