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Get Out The Vote: Yes on Question 2

At Mabel Wadsworth Center, our interns are responsible for updating the bulletin board in our waiting room once a month. Past topics have included healthy relationships, safer sex, abortion stories and more. In case you didn’t have the chance to visit us during the month of October, we’ve decided to put the bulletin board online as well. Enjoy this post by our fall intern, Meghan Frisard, a student at the University of Maine.

Question 2, an effort to expand MaineCare (Medicaid) to 80,000 people will be on the ballot in the Maine election on November 7th, 2017. Mabel Wadsworth Center is a part of Mainers for Healthcare and endorses ‘YES’ on question 2.

What is Question 2?

A ‘yes’ vote is a vote to expand MaineCare. What does it mean to expand MaineCare?  The rule for who is and is not covered under Medicaid depends on each state. 31 other states have already expanded their Medicaid programs. Currently, there are thousands of Mainers who do not qualify for MaineCare and cannot afford quality private health insurance. As a result, they may end up delaying care and then ending up needing care from hospital emergency departments, making the entire health system less efficient and more expensive for all of us. If Question 2, passes Mainecare will expand coverage and increase access to preventative care. Improving access to preventative care and other services will also allow rural hospitals to stay open and thus create more jobs in these rural parts of the state, where jobs are needed.

If you want to learn more, you can see the impact question 2 will have on our entire state or by county. MaineCare expansion is especially important to women, the LGBTQ community, people of color, and those experiencing sexual assault or domestic violence. All of these vulnerable populations are more likely to be living in poverty and therefore in need of healthcare. This program would also support our hospitals, community health centers and other providers like Mabel Wadsworth Center. We know firsthand how devastating a lack of healthcare can be on our clients.

 

When, Where, and How can I vote on Question 2?

Election day is Tuesday, November 7th, 2017. Your polling location depends on where you live. You can use this portal to see what your polling location is and what its hours are on Election Day.

 

How do I register to vote?

You can register by mail up to 21 days before the election, and any day leading up to Election Day in person. You can register in person at your town/city office or at any Department or Registry of Motor Vehicles branch. In Maine, you can also register at the polling station on Election Day – be sure to bring proof of residency in the town/city that you are registering in. Proof of residency includes a ME driver’s license with a current address, a utility bill, etc.

 

I work on Tuesdays or have other obligations. Can I still vote?

Yes! You can either get an absentee ballot or vote early. Absentee ballots for this election must be received no later than 8 pm on Election Day (November 7th). You can request your absentee ballot here: http://www.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl. You can also vote in person by absentee at your town clerk’s office as soon as the absentee ballots are available, which is at least 30 days before the election.

 

Why should I vote in this election? No representatives or legislators are getting elected.

Every election is important, and something is always at stake. Your vote in this November election could decide whether or not someone gets the healthcare that they need. You can vote by absentee ballot early, so you don’t have to miss work, school, or family time to vote. In the presidential election last fall, 72.8% of Mainers voted, making us the state with the second highest voter turnout in the country. Let’s keep that momentum up and VOTE!