My elderly mother recently received an official-looking notice indicating she hadn’t signed up to receive an absentee ballot. Also included was an application for an absentee ballot, with a return address for Lewiston City Hall. This confused her because she’s been voting absentee for years.

I called Lewiston’s city clerk and was told the notices were being sent out by a third party. On closer inspection, I noticed a tiny return address: Maine People’s Resource Center in Portland.

That left-leaning non-profit’s goal is to teach people skills to participate in the political process. As a left-leaning voter myself, I was dismayed by that misleading mailing. I called and told the associate director as much — that there was no disclosure to indicate who the mailing was from. Rather, the notice said, “You are not registered to receive an absentee ballot this election.” The associate director listened, thanked me for my input and hung up.

Getting more people to vote is laudable, but doing so using scare tactics that mimic sketchy mass marketing ploys is unacceptable. This is not the way to effectively engage voters. Treating me dismissively on the phone was their second failure.

I am disappointed that an organization with a mission to increase voter participation in the political process has chosen to employ such deceptive tactics. I hope the organization will rethink its methods and reach out to potential voters via means that are not demeaning to its mission or the people they are attempting to “educate.”

Janet Begert, Bowdoinham

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