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You know, I don’t think I’ve ever put anything flagrantly political on this blog. And I’m probably going to regret this later, because I think that was a deliberate choice on my part: but I just read an article saying that the voter turnout for today’s referendum election is predicted to be a whopping 35%, slightly more than usual for a non-election vote.

What the hell?

That’s the best we can do, Maine? 35% of our 1,316,456 people give enough of a damn about participating in the political process to stand in line for 20 minutes and color in some lines with a pen? A little under 461,000 people are going to decide the fate of excise tax, school consolidation, voter approval of government spending limits, bond matching, medical marijuana, same-sex marriage and a constitutional amendment? Are you kidding me?

Please vote, people. I’d love it if you’d also vote No on 1, because I’d like to think that we’ve crawled far enough away from the uglier parts of our history to finally stop denying our fellow humans the same rights as we enjoy for no other reason than because they act and believe differently than we do –but really, whatever you’re going to vote, just go vote. Take the time. Find a babysitter or bring your kid with you: you can. Lose a few bucks for a long lunch. Stand in line with your fellow Mainers, quietly or arguing the whole way, give your name to the tired-looking person at the desk, hunch over in that flimsy plastic booth and pick up your felt pen and take part in the process. Don’t give me that crap about how it doesn’t make a difference: the difference between 35% and 100% is pretty fucking important.

Here’s what you’re voting on. There are links in there to the actual legislation, and they’re not that long or that confusing: you should read them. Frankly, I think many of the campaigns on both sides of the issues are probably counting on the fact that you won’t.

Here’s how you can figure out where to go. Enter your address and hit GO. It will tell you where the polling place for your area is. It’ll even give you a map of it.

Here’s how you register, if you haven’t. In Maine you can register and vote all at once, so no excuses!

And, because I do have an opinion on 1 –a very strong one– here’s an article I think you should read.

So go. Participate. If it turns out the way you hoped, you can say you were part of it; if it doesn’t, you know you tried, and you were heard.

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