Independent voters cannot vote in the primary election March 3. But everyone should go to the polls to vote “no” on Question 1 — the people’s veto to undo the bill passed by the Legislature last year that safeguards school-age children.

“Yes on 1, Reject Big Pharma” is a ruse. Big Pharma is not the issue; student safety is the issue. People should not be fooled.

Preventable diseases are on the rise. The Legislature’s bill said that an unvaccinated child cannot attend school in Maine. Very few exceptions. The Legislature felt that this measure would prevent children from suffering paralysis, deafness, blindness and death.

The Legislature was sensitive to the beliefs of Maine’s population. They listened to the arguments that vaccinations can cause complications, but they also heard and believed scientific evidence that vaccinations do not cause major complications, like autism. They believed that vaccines work best when they are widely applied, causing “herd immunity.” On this issue, legislators felt that public safety should override scientifically unproven rumors.

Question 1 is a people’s veto to undo that bill passed by Maine’s legislators. Voting for it is an anti-science vote to allow people to send their unvaccinated children to Maine schools, thereby greatly increasing the risk for each child in those schools to get one of those diseases and possibly die.

I encourage Maine voters to go to the polls on March 3 and vote “no” on Question 1, even those people who are not a registered Republican or Democrat. Vote for childhood safety.

Ben Lounsbury, Auburn

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