First let me open by saying that nationally only 60% of the voting population actually took the time to vote during the last election.
This meant that the other 40% was either fed up with the whole process, didn’t care at all, or just didn’t have the time. Of course the latter excuse doesn’t fly at all because of absentee voting. The first 2 may be because of social ignorance.
Then there is the other major factor in this entire nightmare this year. I heard stories of duplicate names, people who could not be found, and overall problems with the voting system in general. To add to this is the list of people who are either incapable of voting or who are in jail or deployed overseas in the military. These numbers add to those who can’t or unable to vote. Overall, the system needs to be fixed to make sure those that are able to vote can and those that no longer can vote won’t have somebody use their identity and vote for them.
To add to this mess is the Maine State Voter Program. The first email I received a couple of days before the election listed our family and if we “voted” over the last few elections. It also listed our “neighbors” and if they voted over the last few elections. The first red flag in all of this is that this email showed up in my Spam inbox in Outlook. This right here should be an indication that even Microsoft thought something suspicious of this email.
There were several errors in this email. The first is that it said that I did not vote in 2010. This is WRONG!! I did vote that year and I am offended that it said that I didn’t in all capital letters. This is certainly a calling out as if I did something completely wrong when in fact they are wrong. Secondly and even more inaccurate is the listing of my so-called neighbors. Every one of the “neighbors” listed has moved away in the last couple of years. Honestly why should I care whether these people voted or not in the last few elections especially since they no longer even live in my neighborhood. The biggest offense of all in this is how this group got my email address in the first place.
Later, the next day I received a second email from this same group. This time the email was similar with the listing of my family and again if they voted (again with the wrong info on me), but this email contained a listing of some of my local Facebook friends and where they live and if they voted in the last few elections. This email, like the first one, sets off many red flags. However the flags in this one are significantly worse than the first.
The biggest gripe that I have is like the first email is that the email listed my Facebook friends’ names but also their addresses as well. The worst thing about this is that listing where somebody lives could create a dangerous situation especially if some of these people were not so-called friends of mine. I have always felt that somebody’s address should remain private if they want it to be. It should never be considered public information. The fact that some of these people were former work associates and a couple were people I knew back in high school makes it that much worse especially given that I left my previous employer in a less than glorious manner. Add to this that the people from high school I haven’t had a conversation with them in years just adds to the aggravation and paranoia with anybody knowing your private information.
The Saturday before the election I received in the mail a letter that was exactly like the first email I received. Why this group would waste postage on sending this false information out in a letter is beyond me? All I can say is that I am thankful that they never sent out the information of the second email through the postal service.
In last week’s local Sunday paper, a reader wrote that they were angry receiving a letter from this group after it falsely reported that a relative of theirs could not vote in the last few elections because they were in a home for Alzheimer’s patients. What I can’t figure out is why anybody in the family didn’t have this person removed from voting roll call when they knew they no longer were going to be able to vote. This reader called for an investigation as to why this information was even sent out in the first place.
Honestly, I totally agree that this group should be investigated. While much of the information is freely available information it is the fact that it was distributed without the consent of others listed is where my biggest criticism is. Add to that the incorrect info about me and it just adds to the problem. The second email sort of clued me in that much of this information for both emails were in fact gathered from Facebook and the friends that I have on there that live locally. I believe that such gathering of information from Facebook is both unethical and illegal and Facebook should be investigated to see if they gave out people personal information along with its user’s friends list for their own gain. This should be considered a complete violation of Facebook policy especially since I keep my address private on Facebook. Hopefully, this group is investigated and I would join any class action lawsuit that comes about for violating the privacy of myself and the privacy of others. I would be glad if this information is never released ever again in any format especially being so wrong.
Now onto the elections results.
As expected it was a nightmare as nationally the Republicans took a majority of the U.S. Senate to now control both houses of Congress. I see gridlock for the next 2 years at the national level as Obama will take his pen and do executive orders no matter what the Congress thinks.
Now that the ads are gone this year was one of the dirtiest political seasons ever with more money than ever coming in from out-of-state sources. More mud was slung this year than ever before and more egos were severely damaged. Some of the damage is probably socially, politically and personally permanent.
First up is the Maine governor race. Once again, Paul LePage won over his Democratic opponent Mike Michaud. Was this any surprise that this race was once again given to the person who made this state the biggest joke in the country. How much further can this state slide and how many more people can end up being uninsured after LePage’s next 4 years? I bet the number will go up significantly
To make matters worse is that LePage refused to accept the concession call from Michaud after the election saying that he doesn’t want to see Michaud ever again. What a wonderful way to start a new term. The only winner in this race are the political cartoonists who have 4 more years of great material coming.
In the second district Congressional race, the criminal Republican won handily over the extremist Democrat. I still won’t give out their names as I feel none of them were capable of winning and none should have won. We should feel sorry for those people in northern Maine as they need support, but not from who they chose.
As expected the other races were determined well before election day and not worth mentioning here.
However, the bear-baiting issue ended with the NO side winning against the YES side by a small margin. We continue to be the only state in the country to allow the feeding of bears to kill them. While the YES side had graphic images in their ads in the last days of the campaign, it was a little too late to get the victory.
The other referendum questions passed with ease despite most of them were for funds to places unknown and for uses unknown as well. I feel that people just thought that if it meant jobs no matter where they are, then the issue should be supported. Again, voter ignorance dominated these questions. I guess most people don’t believe that it is the taxpayers’ money used to pay for the bond issues.
As far as the South Portland marijuana referendum was concerned, the YES side won by a small margin. However, the NO side is challenging the vote and the police have already said that they will be stepping up their arrests of people possessing the drug. If anything, the vote might have been symbolic but may not ever be enforced.
Overall, I felt that voting this year was under minded by the wrong information given by the Maine State Voter Program. No matter what they say I DID vote this election and I certainly have every right to complain about the results as most of them turned opposite of what the way the voting should have gone.
Maybe we should blame the 40% that didn’t vore…
Note: This will be the last post before Thanksgiving. I will return in December with a new post at that time. So have a happy holiday and a happy Black Friday.