National popular vote strengthens democracy

I grew up during the 1960s when the “one person, one vote” principle was established by the U.S. Supreme Court. This principle is to me a linchpin of true democracy, and the Electoral College process does not measure up to this standard.

I have lived — and been able to vote — in six states. Many family and friends live in Maine; others live in states as varied as New Hampshire, South Carolina and Washington. I believe each of our votes should count equally, no matter which state we call home.

In our Constitution, the number of state “Electors” was determined by the 1787 “three-fifths compromise,” which designated how to count slaves. Thus, this process is tainted by America’s ignominious slave-holding past. An estimated 80,000 Mainers fought in the Civil War, including Walter Stone Poor, who wrote that “War is bad, heaven knows, but slavery is far worse.” I hope our current legislators will act as bravely.

When voting for president, we choose one individual to represent all of us, whether our state’s population be proportionally larger or smaller, older or younger, richer or poorer. LD 816 supports the candidate who receives the most popular votes, honoring “one person, one vote” and strengthening American democracy.

Janine Bonk

West Gardiner

Helping Mainers like me

On May 2, I traveled to Augusta with my husband, Stretch, to advocate for the Maine Work Credit, an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit. It was my first time testifying, but I made the trip because I believe that the Maine Work Credit will help thousands of Mainers, including family caretakers like me.

Three years ago, my husband was diagnosed with myxofibrosarcoma, a rare cancer of the connective tissue. I was working at the Humane Society Waterville and I had given my notice, days before we got his diagnosis. We are fortunate. With help from family, I’ve been able to care for him without worrying about losing my paycheck. But there are so many other Mainers who are less fortunate, who have to choose between caring for a family member or leaving the jobs they need to pay for groceries and keep their homes heated.

Whether it’s caring for a disabled child, sick spouse, or elderly parent, Maine families would benefit from expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to include family caregivers. It’s not just about money — it’s about Maine valuing the critical work done by so many caregivers across the state, and caring about them, too.

Jenny Tuemmler

North Yarmouth

Maine failed Marissa Kennedy

If Marissa Kennedy’s mother, Sharon Carrillo, was indeed the victim of abuse as she and her lawyers contend, then wouldn’t she too would have been covered in bruises of various ages, and had other injuries evident on her body? I have not read one article on this horrific case and the trial that mentions any such evidence of Carrillo and injuries, and would be interested to know if the investigators on the scene examined her body for evidence of abuse. If they did not, then they failed to do a proper investigation. The same goes for DHHS; that is, did they notice any injuries or marks on Carrillo’s body during visits to the home?

One way or another, it is beyond comprehension that the case workers failed this little girl. How could they have been inside the home within days of Marissa’s death and been oblivious, or unconcerned, about these despicable people? There is no excuse for their failure. They should all be fired.

Kathleen Rogers