I find myself scratching my head as we enter into the 2016 election year. Who will be right for our country? How, as citizens, can we encourage and demand that our elected officials follow citizens’ clear direction?

The one thing I am certain of is the importance of ensuring that the Maine Legislature returns $6.3 million to the Maine Clean Elections Fund. This fund has been raided repeatedly and now is projecting a shortfall. Voters have twice supported Clean Elections, most recently with 55 percent of the vote, with the knowledge that fully funding Clean Elections is critical to ensuring democracy in Maine. Citizens of Maine deserve and support Clean Elections as an avenue to being heard in Augusta.

Fully funding Clean Elections will ensure that the program, strongly supported by voters, will continue for years to come and allow candidates to feel confident in using the program. I call on the Maine Legislature to return the funds to Clean Elections. I call on fellow Mainers to show their support by stating firmly to the legislature that the wishes of voters should be followed.

Ruth Bettinger

Portland