I was president of the College Democrats at University of Maine at Farmington during the 2008 election. I helped run the UMF van in 2004, and I drove it multiple times in 2008.

Charlie Webster has accused us of taking “busloads” of voters to the polls on UMF. I was at Farmington five years; he must not have been there the last two presidential elections.

I rocked that van with streamers and a sign that said “Vote Van.” Nothing even remotely partisan — no signs, no stickers, nothing. It was for helping folks get to the polls. It was for knowing that the excuse “I didn’t know how to get there” was null, because there we were, ready to take them there. I didn’t wear partisan gear in the van — just blue nail polish.

We drove folks on crutches and with canes both election years — people who otherwise would not have had a comfortable trek to the polls. I didn’t care who they were voting for, or what their motives were. I just cared that they wanted to vote. If they wanted bipartisan information about how to register, or on the issues and candidates, it was there.

I am truly flattered that Webster believes I drove “busloads” of people to the polls.

In 2008, the weather and morale were so great that the vote van had more coffee in it than people. We never had more than four or five people in the van at any given time, and many of those people just wanted to go for a ride with their friends who were voting.

“Busloads”? I regret to inform Webster that it was closer to 25 people at most over the course of the entire campaign season.

Kelly J. Basley


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