Governor's weekly radio address

One improper vote is 'one too many'

By Gov. Paul LePage | Nov 05, 2011

The following is text from the governor's Nov. 5, 2011, radio address. To listen, click the MP3 link below.

"It can take up to 20 days in either direction for mail to travel between Maine and Afghanistan.

Hello. This is Governor Paul LePage.

We are a week away from Veterans’ Day and four days away from our elections. This seems fitting, since the only reason we are able to have elections is because of the men and women – the veterans – who have defended us at home and overseas.

That is why I encourage all Maine citizens to vote “no” on Question One to help ensure we have secure elections.

I was speaking with a young veteran of Iraq recently about this issue.  He told me that, if he wanted to exercise his right to vote, he had to make a conscious effort months in advance to ensure he was registered back home, apply for a ballot, receive it, fill it out, and send it back. He had to do all of that while carrying out his mission in defense of our country.

His biggest concern was with fraudulent votes, because just one person voting illegally could cancel out his voice from the front lines.

So what have we done to protect his voice? We have said that Mainers – like 93 percent of country – should register to vote on a day other than Election Day. You can register to vote when you get your drivers’ license, or when you pay your taxes, or get a license for your dog.  If your time is really limited, you can register on the same day you pick up an absentee ballot.

As the mayor of Waterville, I saw first-hand how busy election days can be for our clerks. The process of explaining ballots, matching voters with the voter rolls, and ensuring the line moves quickly is a huge task. Asking them to also review new registrations to ensure that the applicant is eligible to vote may be the straw that breaks the back of our election system. Allowing one improper vote to be cast is one too many.

We must remember that our right to vote and have our voices heard is very rare in human history. Wars have been fought by people all over the world for that right. And wars have been fought by men and women both yesterday and today to ensure that we still have that right.

Because of what others sacrificed to give us that right, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves on the candidates and questions. A democracy only works if we know what we are voting for and why we are making that decision. I encourage all Maine voters to spend this weekend looking hard at the facts behind each issue to make a fully-informed choice.

On Question One, the facts are that you can register to vote on almost any day other than election day. A “no” vote will help ensure that this great privilege called “voting” that has been handed down to us is protected. It is not too much to ask.  If it helps prevent just one improper vote, then we protect the voices of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines overseas.

Thank you for listening. Have a great weekend and please remember to vote on Tuesday."

Comments (12)
Posted by: Fred OBrien | Nov 07, 2011 23:23

What a coincidence!  There's the Koch Bros again.



Posted by: Jim Mays | Nov 07, 2011 20:06

Chris Rector voted against this when it came before the Maine Senate in June. Chris was right.



Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Nov 07, 2011 18:03

"Republicans have long tried to drive Democratic voters away from the polls. "I don't want everybody to vote," the influential conservative activist Paul Weyrich told a gathering of evangelical leaders in 1980. "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down." But since the 2010 election, thanks to a conservative advocacy group founded by Weyrich, the GOP's effort to disrupt voting rights has been more widespread and effective than ever. In a systematic campaign orchestrated by the American Legislative Exchange Council – and funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party – 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process."  http://agonist.org/raja/20110831/the_gop_war_on_voting



Posted by: Andrew Carpenter | Nov 07, 2011 07:45

I have a question for those who support question one because they don't have the time to register to vote because of busy work schedules, distance, etc.

 

How do you find the time to take care of important things such as renewing your drivers license, registering your car, or protesting in front of Bank of America in a toilet paper turkey outfit?



Posted by: Fred OBrien | Nov 06, 2011 17:41

I don't think there is a need for foreign aid when it is a bribe.  I do think that , as human beings, we have an obligation to help those is dire need.  We also have an obligation to our own. To make sure that noone goes hungry or cold.  People have an obligation to help those in need of life's essentials.  That doesn't include supporting them forever.  You see, Phil, even you and I can find common ground.  Too bad the gangsters in Congress can't.



Posted by: Phil Edwards | Nov 06, 2011 16:27

Fred, I agree ---hmmmmmm,spooky---but I was also referring to foreign aid in general, not just military.



Posted by: Fred OBrien | Nov 06, 2011 14:19

Maybe not....I have a problem with funding the army in a country that harbors Al Qaeda.



Posted by: Phil Edwards | Nov 06, 2011 08:27

Fred, don't let it go to your head. I'm sure we still disagree on a lot. I'm sure my thoughts on foreign aid would give you a seizure.  



Posted by: Fred OBrien | Nov 05, 2011 19:39

Good Point, Phil.  God did I just agree with you?



Posted by: Phil Edwards | Nov 05, 2011 17:56

If voting was all it's cracked up to be do you really think they'd even let us do it?



Posted by: Fred OBrien | Nov 05, 2011 15:31

I'm not sure it's constitutional to prevent a legitimate citizen from voting.  Did anyone ever check LePage's birth certificate?



Posted by: Ray Wirth | Nov 05, 2011 10:51

What a bunch of cowflop.  One vote denied due to a technicality is also one vote too many.  This new law is part of a nationwide conservative vote-suppression effort.  Hopefully, most people realize that by now.  The Orono town clerk, for one, states that same-day registration is workable, efficient, and preferable to the alternatives.  See http://mainecampus.com/2011/10/30/clerk-says-same-day-registering-efficient/

Keeping the voting process as open and inclusive as possible is a big part of what America is about.



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