Don’t disenfranchise voters
More than 22,800 people in the 2nd Congressional District voted for candidates who had no chance of winning. But these voters, whatever their various motivations, had no reason to believe their votes would be thrown away. They knew that under ranked-choice voting their second choice would count.
If the court finds that ranked-choice voting is invalid, the equitable solution is to have either a special runoff election with the top two, or a complete re-vote with clear information that the winner can win by simple plurality. Otherwise, thousands of voters who followed the rules were effectively disenfranchised.
Preserve Ellsworth’s historic firehouse
Ellsworth Falls, a village of the past, is on the verge of being erased from Ellsworth history. The Ticonic Fire House/Ellsworth Falls Community Building is in danger of being demolished, lost forever. Ellsworth Falls, or “The Falls” as many remember it, was a thriving community with its own post office and ZIP code. It was home to mills, blacksmith shops and general stores. It had a train stop. The last vestige of the municipality of Ellsworth Falls may tumble down at the hands of its present owner, Webber Oil/ Webber Development Corp.
Purchased from the city for $5,000 with the expectation of its maintenance, the city granted stewardship to Webber. That was after denying Webber the ability to purchase and demolish the building in 1986 for $20,000, at “less than 50 percent of the market value” and “community sentiment.” One can only assume that the city acted in good faith on behalf of the residents of Ellsworth in selling it for $5,000 through an RFP process that included many stipulations for its care.
Now, Webber has applied for and has been granted a demolition permit for the very building that the city council has worked to to preserve.
The Ellsworth City Council will be grappling with this issue at its next meeting. Please show your support for the preservation of this building by attending the meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19.
Poliquin puts his interests first
As a mostly conservative voter who supports Republican candidates more often than not, I find myself facing some uncomfortable truths in light of Rep. Bruce Poliquin’s decision to challenge our voting process. Poliquin is putting his own interests before the wishes of his constituency.
The people of Maine have voted to approve and use ranked-choice voting, then reaffirmed their support of the process by voting for it a second time. Now, Poliquin is challenging the will of the very people he is supposed to represent, because it doesn’t benefit him. When the person who wants to (indeed, currently does) represent the people of Maine as our voice in Washington sues us over how we decide who represents us, it is a clear and decisive sign that he is not in it for us.
If Poliquin truly believes ranked-choice voting to be unconstitutional, why did he not do something sooner? He was willing to win with it in place, but not lose? To generalize this, Poliquin believes a law enacted by the people of his home state, who he represents, and wishes to continue representing, is unconstitutional. But he does nothing about it until it affects him personally. A rather telling view of the character portrait.
I think if Poliquin has an ounce of respect for himself or the people of Maine, he should rescind his legal challenge, gracefully accept the outcome of the election as approved by Maine voters and Maine law, and perhaps, learn a tiny lesson in the humility that public service demands.
Troy A. Hatton