Is “one person, one vote” being sacrificed for Auburn residents in the proposed L-A merger?

“As much as possible” there would be an equal number of voters from each city in the cross-river wards, the proposed consolidation contract reads. There would be other wards with the remainder of voters, one with an exclusively Auburn voter list, and in Lewiston, the same. Lewiston’s population totals 36,000 and Auburn, 23,000. No matter how the lines are drawn, it looks like Auburn residents would have three-fifths of a vote to Lewiston’s one vote in future city-wide elections and referendums.

Worse yet, the ward boundaries will not be definite until a new city council is elected after the charter is passed. Isn’t that a very risky and disingenuous deal meant to entice an unsuspecting Auburn public into surrendering its autonomy? It is doubly unfair that Auburn has twice the land and half the debt compared to Lewiston.

Do we want to be the generation that crippled the Auburn vote for our children and grandchildren? There can be no compensating benefit for them if we do this. 

We hope others will join us in voting against the merger.

Cathy and Dan Bergeron, Auburn

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