We were disheartened to receive a letter from the city of Waterville — along with many other Colby College students — advising us to report in person to prove our residency with identification and an oath or face “removal of [our] name[s] from the voting list” because our “voter qualifications have been questioned.”

Equally disheartening is the fact that it is Mayor Nick Isgro who is behind these efforts to silence the voices of voters in Waterville (“Waterville to recount plastic bag ban vote after mayor leads petition,” Nov. 13).

If the concern truly was ensuring the accuracy and legitimacy of all voter registrations, we ask: why now? The plastic bag ban saw a close margin of 146 votes. The June vote to recall Mayor Isgro saw a margin of 91 votes, and we don’t remember any outcries regarding voter fraud or fair elections then.

Around the country and in Waterville, we are seeing that the Republican response to losing is to suppress voters. The democratic response to losing should be to energize and mobilize voters to turn out for a cause, just as we saw happen across the country — from Florida to Georgia, from Waterville to Maine’s 2nd Congressional District — last week.

The undemocratic, unpatriotic response to losing is to intimidate, discount or suppress voters. Though voters should never face extra obstacles or inconveniences in exercising their legal right to vote, we hope each individual who received a letter requiring proof of residency will take the time to report in person, “satisfy the questionable information,” and make their voice heard in the spirit of democracy.

Noa Gutow-Ellis and Courtney Milot

Colby College class of 2019

Waterville

filed under:

Augusta and Waterville news

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