I was floored when I read the Sun Journal's front page story (July 29) regarding the Republican effort to block the use of University of Maine at Farmington vans to take students to the polls in 2010 because it would be using public funds for political purposes.
State GOP Chairman Charles Webster and the UMF Young Republicans must really hate democracy. Why else would they go to such great lengths to subvert it?
Forget the fact that students pay an activity fee to use the vans.
By the Republicans' logic, it would also be illegal to use public buildings as polling places or government employees to run them.
They say their motive is to curb widespread voter fraud, yet their claims are unsubstantiated. Webster alleges fraud because non-resident college students are registered to vote in Maine, apparently unaware that their right to do so has been settled law since the 1979 U.S. Supreme Court case Symm v. U.S.
Why isn’t Webster concerned about use of government-funded transportation to get senior citizens to the polls? Maybe in the 2012 election he should be, given the GOP’s eagerness to cut Social Security and Medicare.
The very idea of plotting to make it difficult for citizens to vote reminds me of what a wise Republican named Dwight D. Eisenhower once said: “How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?”
Where are the wise Republicans in 2011?
Mark Bilodeau, Auburn