How I’m Voting in the 2020 Maine Primary

It’s Maine’s 2021 primary today, and I was too lazy to go get an absentee ballot. That means I’ll be going in person to vote. Honestly, if COVID case rates were worse in Maine, I would have been much more motivated to vote absentee, but they aren’t, and so I wasn’t. It probably would have been more responsible of me to get my absentee ballot, but . . . I wasn’t exactly on top of things. Such is life.

And as I usually do, I’m going to be very open about how I’m voting and why. None of these positions will be terribly surprising to regular readers, but I share them because who knows? Maybe me explaining my take on the issues will influence someone else to take the same stance. Because I’m just that good of a writer. 🙂

Anyway, here are the issues I can vote on today:

  • Bond Question 1: Should we issue up to $15 million in bonds to invest in improving our broadband services throughout the state? This is a complete no brainer in my book. When I moved to Maine, I moved backward 10-15 years, technologically speaking. In the aftermath of COVID-19 (when there finally is an aftermath), I would think Maine might be quite appealing to many people. We’ve been social distancing since before it was cool, after all, and more people are realizing they can do their job remotely. Get paid Boston wages and pay Maine real estate prices? Who wouldn’t want that? People who can’t get decent internet, that’s who. This $15 million will be matched by $30 million in private and public funding. We desperately need this to make our state more appealing to people who want to move here personally or professionally.
  • Bond Question 2: Should we borrow $105 million to improve our highways and bridges and public transportation? Again, an easy yes for me. It’ll be matched by $2.80 in federal funds for every $1.00. Our roads need constant help, because winter. If we want people to move here (and we need people to move here), we want them to be able to not fall into bottomless potholes on the drive up. (SIDENOTE: I know there are many lifelong residents of Maine who would rather no one ever come here “from away,” and I know that since I come from away, my opinion doesn’t really carry water with them. But I’m going to say it anyway. Our state is the oldest in the nation. The youth of the state flock elsewhere. We need people here to pay taxes, raise families, create jobs, and bring life back to the state.)
  • Republican primary: Yup. I’m still a registered Republican, so I could theoretically vote (using ranked choice voting!) for any of the candidates. I did take some time to check out who they are and what they’re running for. They’re all in a huge rush to say how much they support Trump, so that’s going to be a hard pass from me. I’ll vote for Jared Golden to maintain his House seat in November.
  • The school budget: 100% yes on this one, as I’ve already stated numerous times. Yes, it raises the overall budget by 2.86%, but the part that matters the most to locals (what locals pay in their taxes) is a 1.93% decrease (even more than I thought earlier). Voting no on this budget would amount to us turning down state help for our students. We already pay far below average for our schools, and we need people to move here. People move to where their kids can get a good education. It costs money to provide a good education these days. Therefore: vote yes.

Here are the poll locations and times today. See you there (with my mask on)!

Poll locations and times

Avon – 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Community Room
Carrabassett Valley – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Carthage – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Chesterville – 8 a.m.to 8 pm – Town Office
Coplin Plantation – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Dallas Plantation – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Eustis – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Farmington – 8 a.m. to 8 pm – Community Center
Industry – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Jay – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Spruce Mountain Elementary School, in the gym
Kingfield – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Webster Hall
New Sharon – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Masonic Lodge
New Vineyard – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Community Hall
Starks – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Community Center
Phillips – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Rangeley – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Rangeley Plantation – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – School house
Sandy River Plantation – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office
Strong – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Forster Building
Temple – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Hall
Vienna – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Fire Station
Weld – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Hall
Wilton – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Town Office

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