Camden Herald letters to the editor Nov. 19

Nov 19, 2020

Confidence in the integrity of Maine elections

I had the honor of serving in Boothbay Harbor and Northport as an observer for absentee ballot processing and on election day for the recent federal election. After those experiences, I am 100% confident in the integrity of our elections here in Maine!

The election officials and volunteers were professional, detailed, and committed to the promise that each eligible Mainer gets the right to vote. This group of dedicated people validated signatures, helped cure ballots and resolved issues all while maintaining safe spaces for citizens to vote despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the polls closed, the election workers reconciled the number of votes cast against the number of voters, checked and triple-checked tallies and secured ballots in accordance with the Secretary of State’s directions.

The media should spend more time emphasizing how well our election system runs, rather than endlessly reporting on bogus claims of voter fraud and alleged ulterior motives of poll workers. Thanks to these dedicated professionals, we can have faith in our election results.

Karla Doremus-Tranfield

Camden

On His Watch

There’s an old expression, “on his watch,” which we use to ascribe responsibility to persons in charge.

On Sept. 11, 2001, four aircraft were hijacked by Saudi terrorists and crashed into the twin towers, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field, killing 2,977 people — an intelligence failure that occurred on George W. Bush’s watch, though he can’t be directly blamed.

As the pandemic accelerates at an alarming pace, we are now looking at the possibility that more than 300,000 Americans will have died by the time Donald Trump leaves office on Jan. 20, 2020. In other words, on his watch, the equivalent of 100 9/11s.

Had Trump been an active, engaged president, following the advice of health care professionals from the early days of the pandemic — like leaders in countries like Vietnam, South Korea and New Zealand — it is estimated that only a few thousand U.S. lives would have been lost. But, given Trump’s nature, that was not possible.

There’s another old expression — ”Nero fiddled while Rome burned” — an event that may be apocryphal.

In our time, as the pandemic has raged, Trump has regularly played golf. So, here’s a new one for you: “Trump golfed while America burned.” And that’s not apocryphal.

Rather, it is now, and forever will be, the Trumpian legacy — despite all denials, all efforts to shift blame.

For with the presidency comes final accountability. As Harry Truman’s old desk sign famously proclaimed, “The Buck Stops Here.”

Dale Hueppchen

Lincolnville

It's a great time to quit!

For more than 40 years, the American Cancer Society has hosted the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November.  The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives, not just for a day, but year-round. The Great American Smokeout provides an opportunity for individuals, community groups, businesses, health care providers and others to encourage people to use the date to make a plan to quit, or plan in advance and initiate a smoking cessation plan on the day of the event. The Great American Smokeout event challenges people to stop smoking and helps people learn about the many tools they can use to help them quit and stay quit.

The 2020 Smokeout Nov. 19 provides an opportunity for Maine tobacco users to begin their smoke-free journey along with thousands of others from across the country.  Quitting smoking is the single most important thing a smoker can do to live a longer and healthier life.  In Maine, nearly one in five adults smokes and tobacco-use continues to be the leading cause of preventable disease and death.

The Maine QuitLink is an online resource to support Maine residents to be tobacco-free and to connect to tobacco treatment. The staff, through the Maine QuitLink, offer assistance in developing a plan for quitting and are committed to making a difference through support that can help Mainers stay tobacco-free for life. Maine Quitlink can be reached by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has provided the following guidance: Being a current or former cigarette smoker increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Those who currently smoke: quit. Those who used to smoke: don’t start again. Those who have never smoked: don’t start.

So wear masks, keep a safe distance, wash hands, and quit smoking. Every day and any day is a good time to quit.

Kenneth I. Lewis
Senior Director
MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence
Portland

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