As a rural Mainer, voting can sometimes seem like a hassle. It is time consuming to get to the polls and it can sometimes be difficult to find a ride. Absentee ballots are easy to get by calling your town clerk or going online for a ballot to be mailed to you.
You may have doubts whether your ballot will make a difference. I believe that every vote counts in every election, but especially when so many issues important to seniors are at risk. The legislators elected this November will be making decisions on these issues in Augusta during the coming year. Our votes help determine which legislators we want representing us in making those decisions.
There are many key issues pertinent to older, rural Mainers. While finding a ride to the polls may be a challenge, it can be even trickier to find a ride to a doctor’s appointment or to the grocery store, due to a lack of transportation options away from the big cities.
Recently, the government granted a rate hike to a big utility company in northern Maine. While $2 extra on a bill per month might not seem like a lot to a company with millions in their budget, those few extra dollars can put a strain on a budget that relies on a fixed income like Social Security. We can’t afford changes like this, and because of that, we can’t afford not to vote.
This election season, I’m pleased to support AARP’s “Be the Difference. Vote,” campaign. It is non-partisan and is meant to motivate us older voters to educate ourselves on each candidate’s stand on the important issues, and then vote for the candidates that best represent our own views.
Even if it seems like a hassle, please join me in voting on Nov. 6. Every vote counts, even from the most rural parts of Maine.