Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, speaks Tuesday during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: Greg Nash / AP

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This Martin Luther King weekend would be a perfect time to thank U.S. Sen. Susan Collins for hopefully seizing this historic opportunity for a U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith moment.

This moment can occur when Collins seeks a bipartisan combining of pending bills covering voting from start to finish, from early voting to vote counting and certification.

Collins’ combining the best of these top pending bills could include provisions from the Joe Manchin compromise bill (with voter registration and early and mail-in voting provisions), the John Lewis Voting Rights bill (with clarifications for the Voting Rights Act) and the Republican-favored electoral count bill (with clarifications for an 1887 Electoral College law).

Such a Collins combination then could lead to the bipartisan bill that garners the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.

We are so fortunate in Maine to have a proud tradition of voter participation and flawless execution of election law, regardless of which candidate or political party gains or loses power.

Our senior U.S. senator can build this bipartisan team, join our junior U.S. Sen. Angus King and proudly stand by her home state of Maine for another Margaret Chase Smith moment. In so doing, Collins also can keep Maine leading the nation, this time by her showcasing how elections can be run, start to finish — from early and mail-in voting to final vote counts and certification — without regard to politics!

Susan W. Longley