2017-11-08 / Front Page

Biddeford voting steady throughout Election Day

Executive Editor

BIDDEFORD — A steady flow of voters kept poll workers busy throughout Election Day on Tuesday in Biddeford, something that City Clerk Carmen Morris said is an ongoing source of pride for city residents.

"We have about 14,000 registered voters here in Biddeford and usually beat the state average for voter turnout," Morris said. "Voting has been steady all day so maybe we'll beat the state average turnout once again."

Bob LaRose of Biddeford said he woke up several days prior to the election and was inspired to throw his hat into the ring as a write-in candidate for mayor.

LaRose, a carpenter, said he missed the opportunity to declare with the city clerk as an official write-in candidate, and knew he didn't stand much a chance in the election. But nevertheless LaRose stood in the parking lot across from Biddeford High School for 12 hours on Tuesday shaking hands and asking voters to write in his name on their ballots.

"Certain little things made me want to run," LaRose said. "I think the cobblestones downtown are a waste of resources."

He said he is deeply concerned about how taxpayer money is being spent in Biddeford and it was worth it to him to stand in the parking lot in the cold to speak with voters to bring attention to certain issues.

"I'm definitely concerned about economics in this city," LaRose said. "I'd also like to give the people more of a voice. It's not right that as a resident of Biddeford you only get a few minutes to speak before the city council on things that really matter. I feel that respect is an essential part of the process and I want everyone's voice to be heard that wants to speak." 

On their way out of Tiger Gymnasium after casting their ballots, voters also had an opportunity to learn more about the Bon Appetit Community Meals Program and sign a petition demanding that universal health care be a human right.

Volunteers Roger Marchand, Emily Bays and Melissa Dunn of the Southern Maine Workers' Center spoke with interested voters about the idea of creating a universal health care system for Maine.

"We believe the solution to our health care crisis is the development of a statewide publicaly funded universal health care system that is groudned in the hiuman rights principles of universality, equity, transparency, accountability and participation," Marchand said.

Bays said she was encouraged talking with voters and many were supportive of what the universal health care concept.

"This does seem to have struck a chord with some I've talked to here today," she said.

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 ext. 326 or by email at editor@journaltribune.com    




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