Having decided to run for councilor at large in our town of Standish, I have come under some surprisingly unhealthy prejudicial exposure in the mindsets of some of our residents.

The first step in running for any electoral office is to have a petition signed by 25 residents stating you have the right to have your name on the ballot voting day. This would allow the voters choices of who they consider would represent them in their best interests.

Some people who had read my platform and disagreed with it refused to sign my petition. Even some town employees, afraid it might create a conflict of interest, also refused to sign the petition. They felt they might be intimidated at their employment. This, in turn, deprived them of free choice.

This is only a petition to have one’s name on a ballot, not a vote, but by refusing to sign my petition regardless of the reasons was also refusing me my right to my vote to run for an elective office.

Mindsets such as these have no place in our democracy. Freedom gives one the right to choose to vote their conscience, to disagree with, but not the right to block another from elective office by any means. There is quite a lot of American blood throughout many countries on this earth, nourishing the soil that has and is continually giving all of us the freedoms and rights we have in this country from 1776 to present day.

Peter Hassapelis

Sebago Lake

P.S. The petition is completed, see you at the polls!

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