Editor's Desk

“As goes Maine, so goes the nation,” goes a famous saying that once pertained to Maine’s penchant for more-or-less accurately selecting the next president between 1832 and 1932. While the politics behind the statement have changed, it remains an enduring statement that bears some consideration in light of the state’s recent efforts to establish powerful precedents.

Politically speaking, Maine has become the first state to adopt Ranked Choice Voting for its primaries for governor in June. If voters at that time opt to keep the system for the federal elections in November, we will again set national precedent by using a system that proponents say opens the door to third parties, reduces negative campaigning and eliminates the possibility of the sensation that votes are being thrown away. Four countries, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Malta now use Ranked Choice Voting for their federal elections.

At the community level, the rise in fentanyl-related overdoses has prompted the wide distribution of Narcan to households across the state in an effort to put control back in the hands of families afflicted by drug addiction. Simultaneously, the high rate of suicide and bullying in the area is being addressed openly by a group committed to discussing it until our local culture changes.

In its practice of meeting challenge after challenge with practical, hands-on solutions, Maine is indeed capable of setting an example for the nation at a time when division and negativity seem overwhelming from the broader standpoint. “It just takes a spark,” as John Cowell shared at Monday’s suicide awareness event.