Maine Leads the Nation, yet the Nation is Threatened
Maine leads the nation in voter protections such as same-day voter registration and not requiring a photo ID to vote. And Maine's voter turnout is high compared to other states.
Yet still, a third of Maine's population doesn't vote.
These are just some of the findings from a new study released last week by Democracy Maine, a collaboration between the League of Women Voters of Maine, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, and Maine Students Vote.
The report highlights several things we can be proud of. For one thing, the percentage of women in our Legislature is 17% higher than it was 20 years ago, and 60% of Maine's cabinet-level positions are currently held by women.
Yet nation-wide, Democracy is under threat. In the last ten years voting rights have come under assault in 22 states, the study finds, and Maine should be prepared to defend against such measures here in the future. In my view, there is nothing more important than easy access to voting and the integrity of our electoral system. I rather like the idea that TOGETHER we decide; that means all of us, in a process beyond reproach.