Please know that this year’s voting will be fine, despite the claims by President Trump and his supporters. It’s kind of ironic that he keeps attacking mail-in ballots when we know he mailed in his own ballot.

Even the president’s son has spread a lot of disinformation. I guess they are so fearful he will lose that they want to be able to challenge the vote and refuse to leave the White House. We’ll probably have to get the military to remove him.

A recent Associated Press report noted that these claims of voter fraud are not true. Here’s a couple examples.

They posted a photo of stacks of ballots in a dumpster, stating they were shocked by 1,000 ballots found in this dumpster in California. But the photo was taken in 2018, when the ballots were properly disposed of after being counted.

They used another photo of mail bins and envelopes on the side of a road to claim they were Trump votes that were thrown away. But the photo was actually of empty mail bins in 2018 that were thrown away.

I hope you know that however you vote here in Maine, your vote will be counted. My wife Linda and I got our ballots by mail, and after we voted, she delivered them to the town office, where the staff checked to make sure we’d filled them out correctly before Linda left the office.

This is another reason I love living in a small rural town. Everybody knows us, and town employees and elected officials are friendly and very open about what they’re doing, including conducting elections.

I’ve always loved voting in person on Election Day, and when I was a candidate for local office, I enjoyed standing outside the voting place to greet voters, many of whom stopped to visit with me. Sadly, because of the coronavirus, this is not possible for candidates this year.

I’ve been a strong advocate for ranked-choice voting, because it makes sure that the people we elect are liked and supported by a majority of us. If you like more than one candidate, I urge you to use ranked choice to cast your vote for all of those you like.

I still remember the first time I was old enough to vote, in Winthrop’s high school auditorium. It was awesome. And I’ve never missed a chance to vote throughout my entire life. I can’t imagine why some people do not vote, it’s so important and empowering.

We all need to appreciate those who work to help us vote, and those who count the ballots. The counting can take them well into the night, and their hard work makes sure the results are correct.

Sadly, this year we’ve been swamped with nasty ads, mostly in the national races. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on disgusting ads in the Collins/Gideon race. By now, if you believe those ads, you don’t like either candidate. It’s a shame they couldn’t have directed that money to something helpful and important in our state.

I particularly hated the ad attacking Gideon for living in a very nice house. I guess if you saw my beautiful house, you wouldn’t like me either! Thankfully, the good people of Mount Vernon don’t dislike me because I live in a nice home.

Our house was built in 1796, and recently, we had to remove the rotting timbers holding up the back of the house, which had been there since the house was built. As they were pounding in the new timbers, all my books fell off the living room shelves.

Linda tried to take that as an opportunity to throw away some of my books (and yes, I have a lot of books), but I didn’t let her. She really questioned a book with no covers. Well, the dog chewed off the covers, but the first page was autographed by Nelson Rockefeller, so of course I can’t throw it away.

And don’t worry, your ballot won’t be thrown away either.

George Smith can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon 04352, or [email protected] Read more of Smith’s writings at www.georgesmithmaine.com.


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