I attended the Republican State Convention.

Now, I know Ron Paul supporters will say my comments are sour grapes, but in truth the convention was a farce. Once Mr. Tweed was installed as chairman, all reason and order were abandoned. The vote for national delegates was not valid. In the interest of “unity” it may never be challenged, but if challenged I do not believe it could stand.

I will probably run out of words, but I was there when several counties voted before a vote was called. The ballots were declared illegal by the convention partly because there was no assurance that only delegates were voting. New ballots had to be printed.

I waited until 7 o’clock for the new ballots, but several counties refused to wait and turned in the illegal ballots. We wondered what kind of fireworks it would produce the next day, but there was none.

The results were just announced as though there had been no irregularity. A woman came to the microphone to make a motion to investigate the matter, but she was ruled out of order. The whole convention was out of order.

Lucille Atwater

Palmyra

I am appalled at the inadequate Maine Republican Convention voting processes. There were no realistic controls for electing convention officers, state committee members or national delegates. Many approaches were tried, and each failed to have integrity:

First, delegates were asked to stand and hold up blue pieces of paper to vote. Everyone standing within a county holding blue paper was counted. There was no inspection of credentials to determine whether people standing were authorized delegates. Dinner tickets were also blue pieces of paper.

During county votes, the process changed to ensure that someone receiving a paper ballot had county stickers and that delegates had a valid badge. However, these votes were delayed into the late evening waiting for ballots that took an inexplicably long time to distribute. Many elderly delegates had left before the votes due to fatigue and lack of food. Ballots had no numerical or watermark identifications to ensure that they were valid ballots.

A new method was used for district votes. Ballots were distributed to county chairs, who distributed them to town chairs. More ballots were given to town chairs than there were voters present so many blank ballots were left over and were available for potential fraud. Ballots had no numerical or watermark identifications to ensure that they were valid ballots.

The voting process then transitioned to a dictatorial style of voting where the convention chair and district chairs made decisions on whether a vote passed or failed without counting delegates standing for a vote. The chair’s decision was final, with no appeals allowed.

Judgments on whether or not a quorum existed were also made on a dictatorial basis by the chairs without counting delegates.

I believe the voting processes lacked integrity and recommend that the Maine and National Republican Party reject the vote results.

James Solley

Falmouth

Reader grateful for details on science of ‘supermoon’

Many people must have read the “supermoon” article on May 5 because at moonrise, Fort Allen Park on the Eastern Promenade was filled with cars, and people were standing, clustered in groups or sitting alone on the grass, watching the moon’s progress through the sky as its mirrored path crossed the water. What a spectacular sight!

Having watched many moonrises on San Francisco Bay and now on Casco Bay, I did not know until reading your article that there was a “supermoon” due to the elliptical path of this heavenly body, nor that it looks bigger on the horizon because of an optical illusion.

Thank you for including this article, which inspired so many of your readers to pay attention to one beautiful wonder of our universe — and thank you for educating me!

Sarah Mills

Portland

Children’s issues deserve attention from candidates

As the 2012 presidential election moves into full gear, I hope Mainers will consider each candidate’s stand on issues that affect our children’s health and welfare in this important election. As a pediatrician and mother, I see every day the effect that public programs have on promoting healthy, thriving children and families.

The federal government provides insurance to one-third of children through Medicaid and CHIP, assists 1 in 5 children through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, makes higher education attainable through Pell grants and supports children’s nutrition through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Overall, the federal government, in partnership with state and local governments, spends about $400 billion annually on children’s welfare — and yet in the first 20 Republican presidential debates, children’s issues were the topic of only two percent of all questions.

How do we know where candidates stand on issues of foster care (500,000 children nationwide), children without health insurance (8 million) or children living below the poverty level (22 percent of all children)? We don’t, unless we ask. All of us can ensure that these issues are brought to the forefront by asking our candidates, our representatives, our media and each other. For more information, please go to voices.org/take-action.

Across the political spectrum, there is agreement that promoting children’s health and welfare is ensuring the stability, prosperity and success of our nation.

Our elected officials must answer to us, and we must answer to our children.

Margaret T. Curtis, M.D.

Maine Medical Center, Portland