Maine House Republican leaders Amy Bradstreet Arata and Billy Bob Faulkingham celebrate at the State House on Wednesday Dec. 7, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

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A recent Bangor Daily News story by David Marino Jr. had a headline that read, “Growing political gulf could further drive ‘Two Maines’ apart in the Legislature.” The article illustrates the political divide in the legislature of rural areas being represented by Republicans and urban areas being represented by Democrats.

We have all heard the quote from Abraham Lincoln, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” What if our legislators set an intention to create ways to bridge the divide of the “two Maines?”

One way would be for the legislators to further the effort to Protect Maine Elections that collected and delivered over 67,000 valid signatures of rural and urban voters alike. The signatures were validated by the Secretary of State’s offices in November and the 2023 legislative session has the potential to adopt the bill outright or it will proceed to the Maine voters in November 2023. I believe this initiative is good for all Mainers and it will greatly reduce the out-of-state money which floods our elections.

Support from legislators would allow this effort to stand up against billion dollar donors, ban foreign governments from referendums and affirm Maine’s support for an anti-corruption amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This bill is the antidote Maine voters are asking for. People should please go to ProtectMaineElections.com to learn more as well as calling their state representatives and ask them to pass this initiative in the 2023 session.

Jonathan Hopps

Cumberland