A man with white hair and glasses in a black suit, white button down shirt and a red tie sits next to a woman with dark brown hair and dark rimmed glasses in a dark blue suit with a black shirt and a silver necklace on a subway seat.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, talk on the subway on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / AP

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Sen. Susan Collins voted Oct. 20 to join her colleagues in blocking debate on the Freedom to Vote Act. While she claims to be a “moderate,” it looks like Collins is in lock-step with Republicans who are attempting to weaken — or destroy — our basic democratic values.

She didn’t vote against the act; she voted against discussing it. Sen. Angus King, on the other hand, raised alarms that our very democracy is at stake.

Collins claimed the bill is a “vast federal takeover of state elections.” Meanwhile, multiple Republican-controlled states have passed legislation to limit access to the polls, often impacting low-income and minority voters.

Former President Donald Trump continues to claim he won the election when there is no doubt Joe Biden won. If voting laws are sufficiently watered down, I believe he has a shot at another term and will join other world leaders chipping away at our democratic values.

Collins also has endorsed former Maine Gov. Paul LePage for governor, even though he’s said he was “Trump before Trump.”

Kudos to Sen. King, who co-sponsored the bill. In a speech, King urged all of us to sit up and take notice: “it won’t just be Republicans who distrust elections, and we will be left with a downward spiral toward a hollow shell of democracy, where only raw power prevails and its peaceful transfer becomes a distant memory.”

Connie Sage Conner

Harpswell