Tuesday, Nov. 5, marked the 100th anniversary of Maine’s vote to ratify the 19th Amendment, which gave U.S. women the right to vote. The amendment finally was ratified nationwide on Aug. 18, 1920. If that seems like ancient history, consider this: the more than 70,000 Americans over the age of 100 today were born when half of the U.S. adult population was not allowed to vote.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization League of Women Voters was formed in 1920 to encourage voter participation and safeguard voting rights. Recently, the League of Women Voters of Maine, recognizing the importance of Maine’s groundbreaking clean elections system in expanding the number of potential candidates, teamed up with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, another nonpartisan civic organization, to form Democracy Maine. More than 60 percent of our Maine House representatives and almost 75 percent of our Maine State senators were elected using the clean election system in 2018. In the Boothbay region, our House representative, Holly Stover, and our state Senator, Dana Dow, both ran as clean election candidates.
Democracy Maine released a legislative scorecard this past week listing how each of Maine’s elected representatives voted on six bills that the organization identified as improvements to the state’s election system. Three of the bills were passed and two have been signed into law: LD 1626, mandating a presidential primary instead of caucuses to choose the parties’ presidential candidates; LD 1463, automatic voter registration, which goes into effect when eligible citizens receive or renew their driver’s license or state ID, unless they choose not to; and LD 54, a year-round ban on lobbyist contributions to political campaigns (still awaiting Gov. Mills’s signature).
Unfortunately, our Senator Dow, chose to vote against each of these changes. In fact, his score was “0,” for he voted against all six of the bills. We can thank our Representative Stover for standing up for Maine voters. In contrast to Dow’s score, hers was a perfect 100.
More information can be found at DemocracyMaine.org