Barbara McDade, the president of the League of Women Voters of Maine, in an Aug. 4 column (“Maine voters astute enough to reinstate same-day registration”) proudly proclaimed her opposition to the recent legislative action that eliminated voter registration on Election Day.

The spin on the article would lead the reader to believe that the Republicans have suddenly removed voting privileges from multitudes of people. Eliminating one or two days out of 250 available days to register does not do this, and the allegation that it will doesn’t pass the straight-face test.

Voting is a privilege, a right and a responsibility. How many of us who are seriously concerned and informed about the issues wait until the day of the election to register to vote?

Only a group of transients, uninformed or forgetful people register on Election Day.

I don’t want these people determining the result of the election. They will usually vote the way suggested by those who brought them to the polls instead of personally clearly defining the issues for themselves.

I would prefer an election result be reflective of the true desire of the voters, rather than from a mob of manipulated votes.


Thomas F. Shields, M.D.


When I turned to the editorial page in the Aug. 2 Press Herald, I was pleased to see two letter writers who said they would explain why there is a need to register at the polls just before voting.

Alas, I was disappointed. What I found were two letters filled with emotional supposition about people who might be “victims” because they decided to vote at the last minute.

There were also the paranoid accusations of evil Republicans trying to keep people from voting. All the Republicans that I am acquainted with and all the responsible Democrats that I know would be delighted if more people would make the small effort that is needed to vote.

It is not even necessary to actually go to voting places; any registered voter can easily vote by absentee ballot.


I would still like to see a factual, un-emotional explanation by the proponents of why there is a need to register at the polls just before voting.

David W. Knudsen


Let’s stop this last-minute registration to vote. There is no way possible for the clerks to verify that these people are legal residents of Maine.

The governor should have made it a week for no registration, not just two days. There is no reason people living in Maine cannot get into their city or town offices and register 51 weeks a year.

They should also show proof of identity and address when they enter the polls to vote.


There is too much good reason for suspicion of wrongdoing when a person goes in at the last minute to register that they may not be a Maine resident.

Richard Campbell

South Portland

Netting lobsters cause of fishery depletion 

In response to Hank Soule’s recent Maine Voices column (“Basic economics illustrate the folly of the state’s ban on netted lobsters,” Aug. 5), he failed to mention a couple of facts on the issue.

First, he did not mention that the method of fishing he is so in favor of is believed by many to be the root cause of Long Island Sound’s west side to be bare of all fish. Long Island Sound has had a rebound after banning this type of fishing, along with much more intervention at a hefty price.


Second, he doesn’t recognize the investment a lobster trapper has made; he seems to think they should give that up for nothing?

I’m not a fisherman, but let us look at all sides of the story before we throw the baby out with the bath water.

Peter Keniston

South Portland

Signs are always there for potential abusers

In response to David Ryder’s letter criticizing Lois Reckitt’s comments about identifying those involved in potential domestic abuse: On the contrary, I think it is very realistic to identify violent abusers.


We have decades of experience, evidence and research. A few factors even this casual observer has learned: hyper-jealousy; insistence that the spouse “check in” frequently; and of course a prior history of beatings or other physical abuse, easily documented by medical staff — not to mention the well-reported willingness to injure or kill family pets.

“No one has a crystal ball” is just not true — the signs are always there. It’s just very hard for onlookers to admit there is a hard and urgent problem facing them.

Jeff Hotchkiss


New Jersey teacher says Maine gets ‘No Child’ flaws

Thank you for the excellent article, “Amid debt debate, ‘No Child’ left behind.”


While many scholarly publications have taken pages and pages to explain the limitations of the No Child Left Behind law, you have done a good job in a page and a half.

While visiting Bar Harbor recently, I picked up a copy of The Portland Press Herald. As a speech-language pathologist in New Jersey public schools, I am well aware of the current and impending crisis in our state due to this law. Full 100 percent proficiency will be next to impossible to achieve for most schools in most states.

Further, it seems to me that requiring all students everywhere to achieve the same levels in all areas of the curriculum actually violates their rights (as required in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to educational programs tailored to their individual skills and educational needs.

How terrible that Congress has wasted so much time this year on trivial and politically motivated issues and let other potentially educationally and fiscally devastating problems slip by. Maine is fortunate in that at least some of your leaders recognize the weaknesses in the law.

I am not sure that there are many in New Jersey’s current governing body, starting with our governor, who recognize or understand the problems in the No Child Left Behind law. Nor do they care about beginning to slowly and systematically implement more progressive and research based educational practices in our districts.

Susan Moseson, M.S.


Speech-Language Pathologist

Bloomfield, N.J.

Don’t cut taxes, boost minimum wage for jobs

I read with distaste (but not surprise) the latest column from State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin touting Republican tax cuts for the wealthy (“LePage administration determined to increase numbers of high earners,” Aug. 8).

If Republicans in Augusta wanted to see Maine people earning more money, perhaps they should support raising the minimum wage. Or perhaps they could cut taxes so working Mainers can put more of their income back into the economy.

Instead, they passed a Bush-style tax cut, with 43 percent of the benefit going to those making more than $117,000 a year. I don’t mind saying that I am not yet in that league, and am not feeling the love — or reaping any benefits in terms of stable, well-paid employment.


Maine property taxpayers will feel the brunt when municipal costs go underfunded and local taxes go up. Poliquin’s “job creators” aren’t creating jobs. Instead, the Republican policies are driving a wedge between the rich and the rest of us.

If we really want to attract better paying jobs to Maine, we should invest in educating Mainers, establish incentives for small-business expansions and high-tech startups, reduce our oil dependence and make health care available for freelance, contract and solo workers.

Patricia J. Washburn



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