Thanks to Sen. Angus King and former Sen. George Mitchell for endorsing Maine’s accountable election referendum, to appear on the Nov. 3 ballot.

There was robust participation by Democrats, Republicans and independents in Maine’s first-in-the-nation Clean Election system, passed in 1996. It enabled any qualified person to run for office, regardless of their financial means.

Then Supreme Court decisions in 2010 and 2011 dampened participation and opened the floodgates for wealthy special interests to influence elections.

If Question 1 becomes law, it will be funded by closing corporate tax loopholes, like the Great Northern Paper Co.-Cate Street Capital deal that’s costing Maine taxpayers $16 million and led to a closed mill and 200 lost jobs.

Candidates will still be able to opt out of the Clean Election system if they desire.

It’s time to invest in our democratic process again and return to government of, by and for the people.

Mary Ann Larson

steering committee, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network

Portland