As a temporary enumerator for the U.S. Census Bureau, my job began in August, not the established April 1 starting date. Fortunately, in these modern times, many of the questionnaires have already been filled out and sent in by mail or on-line.

While tracking down one address after another, I was bothered by two things. The first was a noticeable number of houses (not seasonal) which were vacant. I couldn’t help but think that some were foreclosures due to tough times. The second was the indifference of respondents who refused what is a legal duty. Privacy concerns were not an issue since I took an oath before my training.

Given the fact that roughly half of the eligible citizens vote in a presidential election, my job could be a little forlorn. I don’t think people realize this country can be a republic and also a democracy at the same time and that voting makes it possible. Differences should not divide, patriotism is unity under one flag, and the sum total starts with doing your part.

In Maine we saw a court deny us the right to vote on a referendum. On the national level, we see that officials scorning and scamming the right to vote, bombarding the electorate with superfluous advertising, and not engaging in discussion and dialogue has become the American way. So much for a tweet.

Going door to door gave me a different perspective, though. Most of the people I interviewed were amenable and before I knew it, I exceeded my 10-minute limit.

Douglas Yohman
East Waterboro

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