Hello fellow Mainers,
Today marks 42 days until November 3…and it’s National Voter Registration Day! Find information below about registering to vote in Maine and an URGENT action to oppose a proposed rule that would allow homeless shelters to discriminate against transgender individuals. Deadline is TODAY. In the State Election update you’ll meet Patty Kidder, who’s running in House District 19, and Kalie Hess, running in Senate District 15. There are new updates in the Collins Corner and plenty of information about recent issues in Quick Reads!
Find more information about voting in November or volunteering to help turn out the vote in our Maine Votes 2020 guide. Want to hear from us more often? Follow us on our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Suit Up Maine Admin Team
URGENT: Oppose Anti-Trans Rule The Trump administration wants to gut protections for transgender and gender nonconforming individuals who are experiencing homelessness by allowing taxpayer-funded shelters to refuse entry based on a number of factors, including for religious reasons. Nearly 33% of all trans people experience homelessness; that number rises to 50% for trans people of color. Although Maine law bars this kind of discrimination in Maine, MaineTransNet reports that trans and gender nonconforming people still face violence and harassment in homeless shelters, most of which goes unreported. A national regulation like the one Trump proposes would only worsen this situation.
Take 5 minutes and submit a public comment opposing this discriminatory rule using this form from Housing Saves Lives, a national coalition of LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations. Deadline is TODAY.
It’s National Voter Registration Day. Are you registered to vote?
You can register to vote in person at your town office any time, including at the polls on Election Day. You can also register by mail. Download a voter registration form as a PDF or a Word doc and return it and all required documentation by mail to your town clerk. And be sure to include an absentee ballot request form. For the Nov. 3 election, your mailed voter registration materials must be received by your town clerk by Oct. 19.
Get a list of required documentation from the League of Women Voters of Maine.
Another Week with NO Federal COVID Relief Plan. While the U.S. marked 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 and Maine communities spent another week without a federal relief package to mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic, Sen. Collins found time to confirm eight new judges to lifetime appointments. This includes two judges who are rabidly anti-choice. You can find more about Susan Collin’s anti-choice history in the Case Against Susan Collins.
STATE ELECTION UPDATE
Maine’s entire Legislature is up for re-election Nov. 3, and a number of key races for the House and Senate have caught our eye. Here are a few candidates you should know about, and ways to volunteer for their campaigns.
Kalie Hess of Augusta is running to represent Senate District 15. Kalie has a public health background and has worked to reduce substance use among youth, help people obtain affordable and quality health care, and to create safer places for people to enjoy the Maine outdoors. Kalie has been endorsed by Maine Conservation Votes, Emily’s List, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, and others. She is running to unseat incumbent Republican Matt Pouliot, a vocal opponent of Maine’s new vaccination law who has voted against pay equity and refused to return for a special session to finish the work the Legislature began in January. Hess still needs $5 Clean Election contributions from voters in her district. Make yours here. Learn more about her campaign and sign up to volunteer on her website and her Facebook page.
Springvale resident Patty Kidder has played a crucial role in helping more Mainers get access to health care as an advocate for Medicaid expansion through the ACA, which her opponent, incumbent Republican Matthew Harrington, voted against multiple times. A long-time advocate with the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) and a Maine native, Patty is running in House District 19, which covers Springvale and part of Sanford. She has received endorsements from the Maine Education Association, Renew New England, Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Service Employees Association/SEIU Local 1989, and MPA. Patty still needs $5 Clean Elections contributions from registered voters in her district, and you can make yours HERE. Learn more about her platform and sign up to volunteer on her website and her Facebook page.
Replacing Justice Ginsburg. Trump will nominate a candidate to take Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court this week, and Republican Senate leaders have promised to begin confirmation hearings quickly. It’s unclear if a vote will be held before the election, but only two Republican senators have voiced objections to that timeframe (Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski), and neither said whether they would vote against Trump’s nominee should a vote happen before Nov. 3. (Collins had a particularly testy exchange with a CNN reporter Monday about this.) Vox offers a good overview of the candidate’s on Trump’s short list. Spoiler alert: They are all anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-ACA. Read the Vox article HERE and stay tuned for calls to action to hold Republicans to the rule they set in 2016 when they denied hearings to Merrick Garland.
- Justice in America. As of press time, peaceful protesting was still legal. Yet Trump officials, under the direction of U.S. Attorney General William Barr, are trying to convince us otherwise. On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that a National Guard whistle blower said federal police discussed using the Active Denial System on “potential adversaries” in Lafayette Square. These weapons are so controversial even the military is reluctant to use them. You can get the details HERE. Also on Thursday, Barr announced a push for federal prosecutors to bring federal charges–including sedition charges–against protesters. The rarely-used law is meant for people attempting to overthrow the US government. If convicted, protesters could face up to 20 years in prison.
DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.