There has been much hullabaloo made about the Bates College students voting in local elections. I’d like to offer my perspective.

In 1999, I was a resident of Manchester, N.H. I had recently finished college and was moving back to Maine in December of that year.

When Election Day came, I submitted a blank ballot. Why? Because I did not think it was right to cast a vote that affected a community I was no longer going to be living in. I believed at the time, and still do, that if I was not going to be around to face the consequences of my vote, for good or bad, I shouldn’t be voting.

Maine law apparently gives Bates College students the right to vote in local elections. Then I say they should vote, with this qualifier — only if they plan on staying in Lewiston to face the consequences of that vote.

My appeal is not to the legal question, it’s to the ethical question. I simply don’t believe it’s ethical to cast a vote to chart the direction of a community if you are not going to be living there to take the journey with them.

My appeal to the students at Bates is this: If you plan on being around to face the consequences of your vote, then vote. I’ll even give you a ride to the polls.

If not, then allow the residents of Lewiston to determine their own fate. Cast your vote for ethical reasons, not political.

Tim Lajoie, Lewiston, City Council-elect Ward 2

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.