October 21, 2011

M.D. Harmon: Question 1 attempts to overturn a voting safeguard

Adding Voter ID would offer more protection, but will the GOP man up like Rhode Island Democrats?

(Continued from page 1)

Voter ID failed to pass in the last Maine legislative session, but it may return next year.

Will Maine Republicans show as much concern about voting integrity as Rhode Island independents and Democrats did last time around?

NOTE TO READERS: In the annals of counterproductive newspaper promotions, the Boston Post Cane surely has to rank in the All-Time Top 10.

The now-long-defunct Boston Post decided in 1909 to give the oldest man in many communities in its circulation area a gold-topped cane. When that person died, the cane would go to the next-oldest resident.

Thus the Post indelibly linked itself to the ever-popular idea of "death" in the public's mind.

Women were included in 1930, and papers routinely ran photos when local officials proudly handed off the town's cane to a new candidate for the "next lead obituary" award. The Post itself died in 1956, but the tradition continues in many communities. Oddly, few recipients are seen smiling in the photos.

Anyway, without making any comment on prospective life- spans, the 41-year span of my full-time employment at these papers comes to an end today.

I have seen the industry go from "hot type" and Linotypes (extra points if the term "Ludlow" means anything to you) to today's light-speed publishing.

I have worked as a reporter, copy editor, layout editor, city editor and assistant managing editor before becoming an editorial writer 20 years ago.

The good news (and for some of you, the bad news) is that I will continue writing this column for this paper and adding the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel in Waterville to the list. I can be reached at: mdharmoncol@yahoo.com


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