Maine has been in tight restraints by Gov. Mills since the report of COVID-19. This has affected not only citizens who have become unemployed or businesses that have shuttered their doors, but also independent candidates who seek to be on the ballot come November.

Gov. Mills has repeatedly sought collaboration with Vermont and New Hampshire as to when and how to open our state. She relies on that information. However, as far as ballot access is concerned, she is light years away from being as conscientious as Vermont and New Hampshire are. Due to COVID-19, Vermont has extended their independent candidate filing deadline to Aug. 6, and New Hampshire has extended filing to Aug. 5. Vermont has even suspended signature requirements.

Gov. Mills said early on that we are to stay home unless absolutely necessary and that candidates are to cease from circulating nomination petitions for ballot access since early March.

We were honored with a mere four-week extension, to July 1, to gather more signatures, notarize our petitions and get town or city clerks to validate the signatures by that date, while continuing to social distance.

It seems Mills wants a limited number of candidates to qualify for the ballot during this unprecedented time. I’m sure the two-party system is applauding her, but she must remember Maine has more independent voters than members of any organized party. Please be more concerned about this coming general election, Governor! Independent candidates deserve to be on the ballot, too!

Linda Wooten

independent candidate, U.S. Senate

Auburn

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