Funding our elections

Maine consistently stands out for its high voter turnout in every election, boasting the best-run elections in the country. However, meeting this civic demand necessitates adequate resources. Each polling station must be equipped with dependable internet access, compatible computers, up-to-date voting machines, and trained personnel to manage operations. These investments are particularly crucial given the ongoing election security threats posed by foreign adversaries.

Regrettably, federal funding for supporting our election infrastructure has been inconsistent in recent years. Inadequate financial support for our communities can hinder the ability of local clerks to effectively fulfill their duties as election officials, resulting in understaffed polling stations with unreliable Wi-Fi, outdated computers, and limited resources.

Furthermore, with new threats emerging annually, it is imperative that our clerks receive ongoing training to meet these challenges and have access to the financial resources to address them. Outdated equipment and computers cannot guarantee protection against interference by malicious actors. However, investing in new mitigation tools, software, training, staffing, and supplies is the most effective means of safeguarding and enhancing our electoral process.

As Fiscal Year 2025 appropriations unfold, Congress needs to allocate a minimum of $400 million, in line with recent allocations, to ensure that local election officials have the resources necessary to conduct efficient and secure elections that meet the expectations of Maine residents.

Dwayne Bickford
Former executive director, Maine Republican Party,

The show must go on

Something remarkable occurred last Saturday night at the Crooker Theater in the Brunswick High School.


The BHS Players presented the last of its successful and heralded run of performances of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” The large assembled audience braved inclement weather to witness the play. The intermission was prolonged because of an electrical outage, but because the lights came on fairly quickly, although a little dimmer, the expectation of the audience was that Act II would proceed as planned. That was not to be.

Michael Millet, the BHS producer, took the stage and explained that the lights illuminating the auditorium were from a generator and that the power was indeed off. The generator could not provide sufficient power for the sound system, the theater lights, and lighting for the large pit orchestra.

He asked for patience as the cast and crew considered their alternatives. Michael returned on stage to state that the show would go on, with the pit orchestra ascending onto the back portions of the stage, occupying a large portion of where the play’s great choreography was to occur.

Indeed, the play did proceed in exemplary fashion, with the performers, the orchestra and the crew brilliantly extemporizing their respective roles as if there were no obstacles. Much credit to Michael Millet, the director and co-choreographer Linda Gardiner, the other co-choreographer, Marguerite Benham, the orchestra and its conductor, Brandon Duras, and Ashley Albert, the musical director. With their assistance, the student performers and the stage crew pulled off an astounding triumph!

M. Kelly and Linda R. Matzen,

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