Eileen Messina

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Eileen Messina's picture

Well said, Mr Rhoades!

Well said, Mr Rhoades!

Eileen Messina's picture

Just embarrassing....

I long for the day when Maine might make national news for something other than buffoonish politicians, hate crimes, racial epithets and a long history of sticking fingers in it's ears and humming while the world moves on by...

Eileen Messina's picture

We are not required to show

We are not required to show proof of citizenship when voting. Whether you agree with that or not, that is the law. If you are that civically engaged then you should start a citizens's initiative towards that end. Good luck with that. I believe the idea was that *registering to vote* requires it's own set of requirements to be met and there is no need to overlap. Forgive me if I make an assumption here, but it seems like your statements put you firmly on the side of LESS government, not MORE. I feel I must be wrong, but it sounds like you are ok if the government "interferes" with *other* people, just not with *you*. I am a citizen, registered to vote, but I do not want to have to carry a copy of my birth certificate with me on the off chance twhen I go to vote, or even sign a petition in front of Hannaford's. Do most of the people do the right thing at polling places? I sure like to believe so. Are there people who bend or circumvent rules as being "not for them but others"? It seems pretty clear those people exist. The poll workers did their job, rest assured if the women were NOT citizens, you would have heard a triumphant outcry. As for needing interpreters? I'm going to do some racial profiling here and guess that by looking at poster's last names, most of you have parents/grandparents/great grandparents who came to Lewiston and did not know a word of English. There is still a high percentage of older French people in Lewiston who never bothered to become citizens. You're not required to, so there is no problem there. They also don't vote. It's a trade off. Yes - you must speak some English to pass the citizenship test. You also can take the test with an interpreter there, but there is a portion in English. You can't speak what is required, you can't pass. Next time you go to the grocery store, restaurant, church (if you happen to) see how many older people are there with their adult children, and who STILL speak French. Or who, when they can't find the correct words in English, will revert to their native French. More power to them - how many languages do YOU know? Technically though - that's an *interpreter*, so I guess they shouldn't be allowed to be citizens by your standards. Somalia is a hell hole. I do not say that to offend any Somalis, but being civically engaged and educated, and a citizen of the world as much as is possible, how anyone can have anything but compassion for these refugees is almost beyond me. For that's what most of them are: political refugees, not just immigrants. Why wouldn't you want to come to the USA and make a better life if at all possible? So you come, you follow the rules, if so inclined and you and your family are determined to set down roots here, you take the classes and study for your citizenship, pass, and are allowed to vote in what is probably the first election of your life. Do you want an interpreter to help you understand the finer points of what you're actually voting on? (I know I almost did by the bottom of page 4 - and I educated myself on the issues beforehand!) Absolutely. To me that shows initiative and a desire to engage in this country. I doubt there are many (if any) people who have had to go through so much to become a citizen and achieve these unprecedented rights - the same rights we get simply for being born here, assuming of course that out immigrant parents had the forethought to go into labor on American soil and/or that they too wanted more for their families and became citizens. I doubt too many naturalized citizens are "not bothering to vote, because...who cares anyway?", or throwing their votes away on write-in candidates like Mickey Mouse. The outcry that would have erupted if they weren't citizens would reverberate in to national media. I for one am sick of having the only time Maine make national news be for some horrible bizarre homicide, or hate crime, or jingoistic remarks by some embarrassingly elected official. "Poll Watchers"? Fine. Like I said, I believe most people are good. But lets not pretend that people speaking French, Spanish, Chinese, or any other language were stopped and asked to provide proof of citizenship. How about a story about people exercising their hard-won right to vote in a country that we are lucky to live in? One that does not murder, starve, or kidnap it's own citizens and put grenade launchers in the hands of 8 year olds ordering them to shoot anyone who moves. God Bless America.