Hello fellow Mainers!
With 35 days to go, we all have questions about how to safely cast our ballots in this unusual election year. Our new Maine Votes 2020 FAQ answers your questions with responses informed by the Maine Secretary of State (SoS). Check it out here.
Have you requested your absentee ballot yet? You can do that online or by calling your town clerk. If you’ve requested yours, you can track it on a new online ballot tracker launched yesterday by the SoS.
The most important thing you can do this year is vote. The second most important thing is to volunteer to turn out the vote. Find volunteer opportunities in our Maine Votes 2020 election guide…and join us this Wednesday with Planned Parenthood to write letters to Maine voters! See below for details on signing up, as well as highlights of legislative candidates and the latest quick reads.
The Suit Up Maine Admin Team
Write letters to voters! If you want to stop Mitch McConnell from stacking the courts with more right-wing extremist judges, help us flip the Senate. Suit Up Maine is joining Planned Parenthood Votes’ weekly Letters2Voters letter-writing party this Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7 pm to send letters to Maine voters in support of Sara Gideon, Democratic candidate for Senate.
- Sign up for the party HERE.
- Join us on Zoom at 7 pm.
- Get instructions, review a template to give you ideas for your letter, and ask questions.
- Write short, hand-written letters to voters.
- Drop them in the mail!
You supply the stationary and stamps and will receive addresses by email. You can do as few as 10 letters or as many as 30! Registration is REQUIRED. Sign up here. Want to write letters but can’t make the Zoom call? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you.
Collins positioned Trump nominee for the Supreme Court. Sen. Collins has said she opposes a vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Cony Barrett, before the Nov. 3 election. But we already know how she feels about her because Collins helped put her on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017. A longtime member of the Federalist Society, Cony Barrett opposes the Affordable Care Act, abortion rights, and marriage equality and has ruled repeatedly against immigrant rights. Even with that portfolio, Collins confirmed her. Find more about Cony Barrett and other extremist judges Collins has confirmed under Trump 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.
Ned Claxton is running for his second term in the Senate. In his first term, he helped pass direct property tax relief for Mainers around the state, and sponsored a bill promoting transparency in medical billing, part of a Patients First health care package that passed earlier this year. Claxton, a long-time family physician in Lewiston/Auburn, was the first recipient of the Maine Family Physician of the Year award in 1987. He has been endorsed by Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Education Association, Planned Parenthood, and Maine Conservation Voters, among others. And his legislative record on workers’ issues, education, the environment and health care earned him high marks in these groups’ legislative scorecards. Claxton’s opponent is Republican Matt Leonard. Claxton still needs $5 Clean Elections contributions from registered voters in his district, and you can make yours HERE. Learn more about his platform and sign up to volunteer on his website and his Facebook page.
Alison Hepler of Woolwich is running for re-election to the House. During her first term, she co-sponsored a bill to increase the death benefit for firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical service personnel who die in the line of duty and sponsored a bill to give free noncommercial lobster fishing licenses to disabled veterans. Both bills were signed into law. Hepler serves on the legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources and has been endorsed by Maine AFL-CIO, Maine Conservation Voters, EqualityMaine, Planned Parenthood, and others. Hepler is running against former Rep. Jeffrey Pierce, who she defeated in 2018. Pierce opposed Medicaid expansion and paid family leave, voted against a ban on conversion therapy, and voted to reduce the minimum wage increase passed by voters. Hepler does not need Clean Elections contributions. Learn more about her platform and sign up to volunteer on her website and her Facebook page.
- Trump shirks on federal income taxes. The New York Times has more than 20 years’ worth of federal income tax returns from Donald Trump, returns he has refused to release. The Times article hints as to why he’s fought to keep them private: Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and again in 2017, and he paid no taxes at all for the 10 years before that. He did, however, pay hefty taxes to Panama ($15,598), India ($145,400), and the Philippines ($156,824). Trump could be facing a $100 million IRS penalty for falsely claiming a $72.9 million refund and has more than $300 million in loans coming due in the next four years, with little evidence he could cover them. Read the story HERE.
- Sen. King: Supreme Court debate should be about health care. One week after the election, the Supreme Court hears arguments on a case that could, if Trump and Republicans get their wish, overturn the Affordable Care Act. The hit millions of Americans would take from such a ruling, including hundreds of thousands of Mainers, is what’s really at stake from the Republicans’ push to seat a justice before the election, argues Sen. Angus King in a new op-ed in the Bangor Daily News. Read the op-ed HERE.
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