Get out and vote!

By The Courier-Gazette Editorial Board | Jun 07, 2018

On June 12, next Tuesday, those of you who are citizens over the age of 18 will have an opportunity to vote on important matters in our community, including ranked-choice voting, local school budgets and which gubernatorial candidates will be on the ballot in November.

It is important to do your civic duty and get out and vote, but don't just take it from us.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt had the following to say in his radio address from the White House Oct. 5, 1944:

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves — and the only way they could do that is by not voting at all.

"The continuing health and vigor of our democratic system depends on the public spirit and devotion of its citizens which find expression in the ballot box.

"Every man and every woman in this Nation — regardless of party — who have the right to register and to vote, and the opportunity to register and to vote, have also the sacred obligation to register and to vote. For the free and secret ballot is the real keystone of our American Constitutional system.

"The American Government has survived and prospered for more than a century and a half, and it is now at the highest peak of its vitality. This is primarily because when the American people want a change of Government — even when they merely want 'new faces' — they can raise the old electioneering battle cry of 'throw the rascals out.'

"It is true that there are many undemocratic defects in voting laws in the various States, almost forty-eight different kinds of defects, and some of these produce injustices which prevent a full and free expression of public opinion.

"The right to vote must be open to our citizens irrespective of race, color, or creed — without tax or artificial restriction of any kind. The sooner we get to that basis of political equality, the better it will be for the country as a whole.

"Candidates in every part of the United States are now engaged in running for office.

"All of us who are doing it are actuated by a normal desire to win. But, speaking personally, I should be very sorry to be elected President of the United States on a small turnout of voters. And by the same token, if I were to be defeated, I should be much happier to be defeated in a large outpouring of voters. Then there could not be any question of doubt in anybody's mind as to which way the masses of the American people wanted this election to go.

"The full and free exercise of our sacred right and duty to vote is more important in the long run than the personal hopes or ambitions of any candidate for any office in the land..."

Source: "Radio Address from the White House," Oct. 5, 1944. Posted online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.

More needs to be done to ensure school safety

We may have narrowly avoided a tragic school shooting in the Rockland area last week because police were notified that a local man was hearing voices telling him to commit a deadly act.

Fortunately, a person who knew the man called the authorities.

However, this close call highlights the fact that we are still depending more on luck than anything else to prevent losing local children to shootings.

Currently, we as a society do not have a firm consensus on what to do to protect our children from gun violence in schools.

Some argue for stricter gun regulation, while others are strongly opposed to such measures.

Some argue for posting armed police officers in schools, while others oppose this action.

We are fortunate to have law enforcement and school officials who care about the community and its children, but more needs to be done before the next threat to our children's safety.

We would urge RSU 13 leaders to hold a public meeting, along with local law enforcement leaders, giving parents in the community an opportunity to ask questions and share suggestions for how we can move forward and work toward a safer environment for our children.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Alison S McKellar | Jun 10, 2018 11:26

Two more important voting opportunities not mentioned for Camden and Rockport voters:

- June 11th 6pm at the Camden-Rockport Middle School gym (vote on supplemental funding for new middle school project).

-June 13th at 7pm in the Camden and Rockport Opera Houses Annual Town Meeting for both towns. Voting on municipal budgets and other miscellaneous matters.

Posted by: Katherine Holland | Jun 08, 2018 07:44

Please note that even if you are a not enrolled in a party and therefore cannot participate in the primary voting, you CAN vote on ballot question #1, the ranked choice voting question. Here is its wording:

Question 1: Do you want to reject the parts of a new law that would delay the use of ranked-choice voting in the election of candidates for any state or federal office until 2022, and then retain the method only if the constitution is amended by December 1, 2021, to allow ranked-choice voting for candidates in state elections?

A response of "Yes" is for Ranked Choice Voting as soon as is reasonably possible, a response of "No" is against it.

Posted by: Mark Haskell | Jun 08, 2018 00:32

Please everyone get out ant vote!  Go to the pole and vote in the primaries!


Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 07, 2018 11:58

Looking forward to seeing an excellent turnout from our 18 -25 year olds who know the importance of the choices facing the world more than most of us older folk. They are there on the frontlines and realize the importance of working together for common goals.

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